The Codependent Mom: Feeding Your Child’s Food Addiction

Oct 17, 2010 by

When your baby started to scoot around the house, you probably changed your decor. You moved breakables or dangerous items out of reach. You covered your electrical outlets.

You may have also cleaned up your personal act in various ways to make a healthy, safe, positive environment for your dear baby.

You kept careful watch over your little one, and with a sensible combination of environmental adjustments, vigilance, and training of your baby not to touch those dangers that couldn’t be removed, you made your house a place where your darling could play and learn and enjoy freedom and safety.

You limited your child’s choices, without offering dangerous fun in order to get her to do beneficial things. You wouldn’t, for example, say she could chew on the electrical cord if she would play with her blocks first.

You wouldn’t tolerate her playing with the food processor in hopes she would also end up spending some time looking at her alphabet book like you wanted her to.

I trust you wouldn’t use a cable porn show as a bait to get your little tyke to watch an educational show on PBS, or hold out a dirty magazine in exchange for reading Mother Goose with you.

You wouldn’t offer a little cocaine if he would just drink his milk. You wouldn’t knowingly get your child hooked on an addictive, harmful substance and then continue to feed that addiction, happy to feel needed and happy because your tot was happy.

How about a little treat, a soda, a candy bar, a bag of chips, a donut, a trip to McDonald’s, to get him to eat his veggies, or just because we want to?

According to recent research, those sugary, salty, fatty, yummy, junk food and fast food treats we all enjoy are not just bad for us; they’re also literally addictive. Just like heroin, they lead us to overdo it. We develop tolerance to them. The more we eat, the more we want to eat. We crave. It’s nigh impossible to quit.

Scientific findings continue to confirm that the similarities of junk food to narcotics are more than just a joke.

Processed foods today are deliberately engineered with salt, bad fats and sugar to be as seductive and addictive as possible, what food industry folks call “eatertainment,” according to David Kessler, in The End of Overeating. Lab rats’ brains, he claims, respond to these sweet, salty, greasy foods like an addict’s to cocaine.

No wonder so many people are overweight and unable to lose weight. No wonder our kids are going down the path to obesity in droves.

Knowledge is power against the junk food pushers who stand to gain by getting our kids hooked on their garbage edibles. Awareness is transforming. When we know the truth, if we realize that sugar and junk food is similar meth or heroin, we see things differently.

As extreme and cruel it may seem today to deny your child all processed junk food, I believe the day will come when we, or our children, will look back and marvel at our ignorance, like before we knew about germs, or the dangers of lead paint or cigarettes, and how we thought it was OK to have a little here and there—all in moderation.

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Related post:

Eating Mindfully: How to keep kids from getting fat by turning on to better food

 

14 comments
Anna Migeon
Anna Migeon

Mary, just checking to see if you got my message: here is the article you were looking for for Javier. I don't know if you receive these replies or not.

Anna Migeon
Anna Migeon

Mary, here is the article you were looking for for Javier.

Mary Torres
Mary Torres

I like. I totally agree! Also, enjoyed reading "Scientific Findings" I am the "food nazi" in our home! My husband loves his junk food. When I married him he claimed that the only veggies he ate were corn and potatoes. We changed that real fast! He pretty much will eat any one I serve him now. I explained to him how criticle it was to teach the kids by example. The kids tease him now cuz they know he doesn't like them but, I insist he eat them. I figure that the kids teachers think I am mean because I have asked that they do not give them candy at school. I find it frustrating that many places we go the car dealership, great-clips, the bank, every BD party) people try to give candy to kids. I often refuse it but at some of the parties we do take it home and I toss it. My kids actually enjoy not being allowed to have candy! I think they feel cared for.

Paul Turner
Paul Turner

Very good Anna. The marketing of unhealthy high profit foods has brainwashed so many and the consumption of them has also affected our reasoning and made it difficult to truly eat what is best for us. Eating as close to nature is what our bodies are intended to do.

rosie_kate
rosie_kate

(Er, and by "perfect", I mean, "fitting.") :-)

rosie_kate
rosie_kate

Great analogies! I wish those facts were commonly understood... Also, I love the art you've had on this and the last post. Where did you find such perfect paintings?

Beth Weier
Beth Weier

Hi Anna ~ I just read the scientific findings article - wow. I work at Starbucks and love it but have access to a lot of sugar and empty calories. ( and I am definately addicted to sugar) Some people come in for the Venti Mocha, which the article referred to, twice a day! Do you think it's best to go off sugar "cold turkey" or gradually?

Anna Migeon
Anna Migeon

Hi Beth, thanks for reading and your comment! Did you look at the link in the article? (the blue "scientific findings") You should definitely read it. That would convince you far more.

Beth Weier
Beth Weier

Great article! I absolutely believe that sugar is incredibly addictive. There is so much hidden sugar in the foods that we eat. I know that I consume a lot of sugar and was actually thinking about trying to go off of it completely. This article convinced that it would be a very good idea :) Thanks!

Anna Migeon
Anna Migeon

Mary, Thanks so much for reading and commenting! That's great that you are a food nazi! Keep it up. I'm not sure my kids were as appreciative at times as yours seem to be! I always felt like I couldn't give them anything junky ever because they got SO much of it everywhere they went! I read once that if sugar had to pass the approval of the USDA today it would never get through because it's so unhealthy. I think a lot of people associate sugar and junk food with happiness and love. We love you so we give you junk food. Waiting for the day the tide turns (and trying move it along faster).

Anna Migeon
Anna Migeon

Paul, thanks so much for reading my blog! The marketing of junk food is a big factor in how unhealthy we are. A lot of countries have banned the marketing of junk foods to kids. If only we would do the same. Did you read the article I linked to in my post? It has a lot of interesting info about the addictiveness of junk food.

Anna Migeon
Anna Migeon

Rosie Kate, Glad you like the paintings; I found the art on google images. I need more images of my own. I need to get friends to let me take more photos of their kids eating. My kids are too big (and one's off at college). I figured ancient art was public domain and I wouldn't infringe on anybody's rights. I have a couple more in a book a might scan or photograph.

Anna Migeon
Anna Migeon

Hi Beth, thanks for reading! I think it's definitely better to go cold turkey. Otherwise, I think the cravings will just drag on and maybe get the better of you. We started eating the caveman diet last spring and ice cream would sit untouched in the freezer. We quit wanting sugar and starches. We do sometimes have a dessert, but it's if's not often, it stays under control. If you can get past withdrawal, your cravings will go away. Though being at Starbuck's a lot looking at it would make things difficult, I'm sure!

paulwturner
paulwturner

Anna,you are most welcome. I checked out Dr. Hyman's site and it is refreshing to find a Doctor willing to look for and treat causes of dis-ease. I like his holistic approach which he terms "functional medicine" and would love to see this become mainstream. I have read much of your blog and appreciate what you are doing with it.