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Why People With Eating Disorders Are Often Obsessed With Food

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Why people with eating disorders are often obsessed with food Gemma Witcomb, Loughborough University Lorraine Pascale, a chef and regular guest on the BBC’s cooking programme, Saturday Kitchen, recently admitted that she struggled with an eating disorder. For many, it would seem counter-intuitive that a person with an eating disorder would spend so much time around food. But an obsession with food is often linked with eating disorders, highlighting the complexity of effects that go beyond eating itself. Many of us have dieted at some point in our lives. Whether this is to lose weight, maintain weight or be healthier, what they have in common is restriction. This restriction is not merely behavioural – it is not simply the absence of reaching for a biscuit. Rather, the restriction starts in our brains when we tell ourselves that certain foods are off limits. And, much like the famous “don’t mention the war” scene in Fawlty Towers – where a forbidden topic keeps popping up in conversation – people restricting their food intake can become preoccupied with food. For people with anorexia nervosa, which has restriction at its core, this preoccupation can manifest itself in a strange desire to be near the…

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