NPR: Kid Binge Eaters More Likely to Have Other Problems Ahead

Kid Binge Eaters: Quit Binge Eating (CC stu_spivack) "Pizza"If you notice your kids becoming binge eaters like yourself then it might be an early indicator of other problems to watch out for.

In an article posted by NPR on Dec 11th titled Kids’ Eating Binges Could Signal Other Problems Ahead by David Schultz, it says:

Children between the ages of 9 and 15 who went on eating binges at least once a week were roughly twice as likely to use marijuana or to show strong signs of depression as those who didn’t.

Again from the same article:

One theory … is that the same impulsiveness that leads children to binge eat may also be leading them to try marijuana. Another theory is that the strong feelings of shame that often accompany binge eating are one of the causes of depression.

This likely will be a lighting rod type of topic for discussion for some folks. These are just a few of the conclusions that could be drawn from all this plus all the different opinions on marijuana use. I definitely don’t want to go there.

I just wanted to share the article in order to show that Binge Eating Disorder has consequences for the young as well as adults. Based on the article I can’t tell if Binge Eating Disorder is causal or even if there is limited correlation. Regardless of all that, as a parent I feel if my own kids start an addiction early in life then they are establishing a pattern for other self-destructive behaviors. It may be a sign of other issues going on in their life that we need to help them deal with.

Please share your own thoughts here or over at NPR in their comments.

 

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2 thoughts on “NPR: Kid Binge Eaters More Likely to Have Other Problems Ahead

  1. It’s almost inevitable that Binge Eating Disorder (BED), or compulsive overeating as it is also known, will lead to other addictions. ALL chemical addictions affect the number of dopamine neurotransmitters. Dopamine has been called the pleasure neurotransmitter but would be better described as the motivation/reward impulse of the brain. Addiction decimates this essential neural transmitter so that only more of the substance can produce the reward “pop”.

    Substance abuse researchers say that the brain adaptions that result from regularly eating so-called hyperpalatable foods – foods that layer salt, fat, and sweet flavors, proven to increase consumption – are likely to be more difficult to change than those from cocaine or alcohol because they involve many more neural pathways. Almost 90 percent of the dopamine receptors in the vental tegmental area (VTA) of the brain are activated in response to food cues.

    Brand-new research also shows direct evidence of lasting and fundamental injuries to a part of the brain that helps us regulate our food intake, the hypothalamic arcuate nucleus. Within three days of being placed on a high-fat diet, a rat’s hypothalamus (the area of the brain that responds to the hormones that signal hunger and satiety, pair and maternal bonding and certain social behavior) shows increased inflammation; within a week, researchers see evidence of permanent scarring and neuron injury in an area of the brain crucial for weight control. Brain scans of obese men and women show this exact pattern as well.

    Playing with potato chips is a lot closer to playing with amphetamines or heroine than most people believe. The new pioneering research is helping us to appreciate a holistic and integrative approach to addiction. I was first senior research fellow in NIH Office of Complementary Medicine. Using food addiction as template, THE HUNGER FIX addiction plan integrates personal empowerment, spirituality, along with whole food nutrition and restorative physical activity.

    • Dr. Peeke,

      I agree, the dangers of Binge Eating Disorder go far beyond just the food and physical impact to the body. I’m very happy this problem is starting to get the attention it deserves.

      Thank you for sharing all this. Great insight. I can’t imagine all the research you’ve done on this topic. You are welcome here anytime!

      -Alen

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