Scoot Blog: If it's an addiction, it's not your fault, right?
A recent study shows that junk food is addictive in the same way that cigarettes and drugs are addictive.
Now, Gabriel Harris, a professor of food science at North Carolina State University, says that even though humans respond to tastes, textures and colors they do not become addicted to food.
I remember when we had ‘bad habits’ – like smoking or drinking too much. Today, it seems that everything that might be considered a ‘bad habit’ is elevated to the level of being an addiction. Studies now show that people are addicted to cigarettes, alcohol, drugs, video games, the Internet, pornography and even sex. And doesn’t this trend of labeling everything an addiction fit perfectly into a society that continues to dismiss personal responsibility as a virtue?
When something is accepted as an addiction, there is a greater tendency to direct blame away from an individual place blame on an object. Giving more power to an object by declaring it addictive seems to excuse the individual who voluntarily develops a ‘bad habit’. A teenager addicted to cigarettes doesn’t seem as much to blame as the tobacco companies for the ingredients used in manufacturing cigarettes. The teen that spends too much time in front of a computer screen is not to blame as much as the addictive nature of the Internet. Tiger Woods has been going through therapy for an addiction to sex. Is it really fair to give men or women an out because they just like to have sex with a lot of people – even if they are married? Frequent, casual sex is now an addiction which leads to sympathy for the individual rather than condemnation for the activity.
As the list of addictive behavior continues to grow, we must ask ourselves if this trend actually benefits society. Scientific research may be prone to yield conclusions that are based more in the desired motives of those funding the research than in solid scientific facts.
The more we all accept everything as an addiction rather than a ‘bad habit’ the more we will continue to advance the crusade against the value of personal accountability. And if something is actually addictive, didn’t an individual make the decision to choose that behavior and to continue that behavior – that’s a ‘bad habit’. Think about what you do – is it really an addiction or just a ‘bad habit’?