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Smoking, drinking, and… sugar? When thinking about addiction, most people put illicit drugs, alcohol and cigarettes at the top of the list, without even giving a second thought to the food they consume on a daily basis. Today, Wellspring Camps released a new study entitled “Food as Drug: Americans Are on a Sugar High” based on fresh data from a survey conducted for us by ORC International in February 2015.

Our study found that nearly all Americans (92%) surveyed believe that food is another form of addiction. Emphasizing this thought is the fact that 66 percent of respondents believe it can take anywhere from a couple of days to a couple of weeks to fully recover from “carb” addiction, further demonstrating that food can have similar effects on the brain and body as illicit drugs have.


The study highlights some interesting takes on how Americans think about food addiction from the misperceptions about how to maintain a healthy weight to the amount of people who struggle with weight management their entire lives.

First and foremost, we’re intrigued by the thought that over 90% of Americans surveyed believe that food is an addiction, yet it’s not recognized in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. There is a real disconnect to what we see happening in the lives of those surrounding us and what mental health professionals use to diagnose patients.

Further, in the same survey, participants noted that they think the main reason why those who are overweight struggle to maintain a healthy weight stems from a lack of motivation on behalf of the obese. Despite the fact that the survey data clearly states an overwhelming majority believe food is addictive, they don’t tie that back to how we treat those who are overweight.

With obesity affecting close to 1/3of the American population, according to the CDC, we need to stop thinking that the answer is as simple as finding motivation to go to the gym. Weight management is a complicated issue, one that Wellspring works to provide simple solutions for every day.

For more information on the survey, check out the full report here