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Addicted to Eating: New Evidence of Food Addiction

UDATED (Bigad Shapban, CBS) -- 33-year-old Hillary Buckholtz says she's never had a normal relationship with food.

She says her life-long battle with overeating left her obese at just 11-years-old.

"I think it was about 300 pounds, but I had stopped weighing myself because it was too depressing, I was in denial."
A recent study in Canada found as many as 1 in 20 people could be addicted to food.

"Sugary, fatty, salty food combinations that actually hack into the reward center in your brain.  They cause changes that literally leave you addicted to that food," says Dr. Pamela Peeke.

She says treating patients with food addiction is a little trickier than treating patients with substance problems, because you can't simply stop eating.

"You can most certainly eliminate and avoid the foods that ignite your rewards center."

Dr. Peeke discovered that refined sugars were triggering Hillary's overeating.  She cut them out of her diet and lost weight.

When asked if she thinks she will ever get over her eating addiction Hillary said, "I don't. I do see it as a chronic condition, something I have to manage for the rest of my life."

She's in recovery now, getting support from other over-eaters in a program for food addicts.




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