As national obesity rates continue to rise, University of Florida researchers are looking to modify the way people look at food.
Doctors have found that eating processed, sugary foods can be cause addiction similarly to cigarettes, alcohol or cocaine.
Dr. Mark Gold, chairman of Psychiatry at UF’s College of Medicine, said he uses a written test to evaluate and determine if someone is addicted to food.
He said it’s never the patients fault, and it’s a common problem that needed diagnosis and treatment.
“This is a very important public health problem and everyone’s sensitive to the fact that there’s personal costs for the patients — the costs for the society,” he said.
Doctors say students are especially vulnerable to food addiction caused by the constant stress of school.
“I feel like most people resort to that during stressful situations,” said Jonathan Augustin, a UF student.
Augustin said he used food as outlet to overcome his stress, especially if he had just failed a test.
“I’m just like, ‘Man, I can’t wait to eat just to get over it,” he said.
Chris Alcantara wrote this story online.