In writing a new first chapter for my book, I've flirted with the idea that we are under some form of mass hypnosis. I don't want to assert that in any clinical way, 'cause I wouldn't know enough to make a good argument, and so far, I haven't found a way to express it credibily enough for inclusion.
But here's the essence of whatever I'm trying to get at: We have been diet-obsessed for decades. "Every generation throws a hero up the pop charts," Paul Simon said, but he could just as easily have been talking about diet gurus: Stillman, Pritikin, Atkins, Jenny Craig, and a thousand others, each of them offering "the" way back to a comfortable body size.
And yet, obesity has exploded. (I keep using that allusion, but it is so justified! Thirteen percent in 1960, 34 percent today. And just about as many people "merely" overweight.)
While we're appear to be focused on the problem, we have stuck to the same sorts of "solutions" that have solved nothing. And yet, we've been unwilling, so far, to consider that a different solution, and a-c-t-u-a-l solution, is needed.
Based on my own experience, and on observation of others seeking the same relief I'm achieving a day at a time, I'm certain that recognition of food addiction, and the several kinds of help that would imply, would help a great many people.
Millions of people, literally.
Not everyone, for not everyone who is overweight or obese is an addict. But still, millions of people directly. And, most likely, the recognition would influence those struggling with overweight but not yet addicted, to pay more heed to the problem before they make that one-way trip into addiction.
To be redundant, I'm not saying every problem eater will slip into addictive eating. I'm saying only that the vast majority who do cross the line will come from those people who are now struggling with it. So they are the ones who should be paying wary respect to the risk facing them taking action to moderate their eating while they still have the free choice to do so.