Why do some people become addicted to certain foods while others do not?
The genes people are born with account for about half of a person’s risk for addiction. Under certain circumstances, gender, ethnicity, and the presence of other mental disorders may also influence risk for food and other addictions.
A person’s environment includes many different influences, from family and friends to economic status and general quality of life. Factors such as peer pressure, physical and sexual abuse, early exposure to these foods (think sugar), stress, and poor parental guidance can greatly affect a person’s likelihood of having food and other addictions.
Genetic and environmental factors interact with critical developmental stages in a person’s life to affect addiction risk. Although eating addictive foods to excess at any age can lead to addiction, the earlier that food is introduced (again, think about kids and their consumption of sugar), the more likely it can progress to addiction.