This quiz may save your life

For more information, copy and paste:

Are you a food addict?
To answer this question, ask yourself the following questions and answer them as honestly as you can.

1 Have you ever wanted to stop eating and found you just couldn't?
2 Do you think about food or your weight constantly?
3 Do you find yourself attempting one diet or food plan after another, with no lasting success?
4 Do you binge and then "get rid of the binge" through vomiting, exercise, laxatives, or other forms of purging?
5 Do you eat differently in private than you do in front of other people?
6 Has a doctor or family member ever approached you with concern about your eating habits or weight?
7 Do you eat large quantities of food at one time (binge)?
8 Is your weight problem due to your "nibbling" all day long?
9 Do you eat to escape from your feelings?
10 Do you eat when you're not hungry?
11 Have you ever discarded food, only to retrieve and eat it later?
12 Do you eat in secret?
13 Do you fast or severely restrict your food intake?
14 Have you ever stolen other people's food?
15 Have you ever hidden food to make sure you have "enough?"
16 Do you feel driven to exercise excessively to control your weight?
17 Do you obsessively calculate the calories you've burned against the calories you've eaten?
18 Do you frequently feel guilty or ashamed about what you've eaten?
19 Are you waiting for your life to begin "when you lose the weight?"
20 Do you feel hopeless about your relationship with food?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, then you may be a food addict. You are not alone. FA offers hope through a real solution to food addiction.

Copyright © 2000-2003 Food Addicts in Recovery Anonymous

Here's a few facts about obesity, one of outward symptoms of food addiction that has very deadly consequences:

The UCLA Center for Health Policy Research released the following press release on April 28, 2008. I'm only going to quote a few highlights:
New Study Finds California Neighborhoods "Designed for Disease"
DAVIS, CA -- Californians face an added challenge as they battle expanding waistlines and obesity-related diseases - their address. A landmark study released today shows the state's first direct correlation between where you live and your risk for obesity or diabetes.

The groundbreaking study, Designed for Disease: the Link Between Local Food Environments and Obesity and Diabetes, examines the correlation between the health of nearly 40,000 Californians and the mix of retail food outlets near their homes. The key finding: people living in neighborhoods crowded with fast-food and convenience stores but relatively few grocery or produce outlets are at significantly higher risk of suffering from obesity and diabetes....

To understand the impact of the food landscape on health, CCPHA, PolicyLink and the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research matched the prevalence of obesity and diabetes from the 2005 California Health Interview Survey (CHIS) to nearly 40,000 respondents' Retail Food Environment Index (RFEI) scores. The RFEI is the number of fast-food and convenience stores divided by the number of grocery and produce stores around one's home....

Though low-income communities are often hit hardest by this phenomenon, the health correlation is seen across all geographic regions, income levels and ethnicities. Statewide, the average RFEI of all study participants is 4.5, meaning that they find four times more fast-food and convenience stores than grocery stores and produce vendors when they step out their door. California is home to 14,826 fast-food restaurants and 6,659 convenience stores. By contrast, the state has 3,853 grocery stores and 1,292 produce stands (including farmers' markets). This disproportionate access to less nutritious foods is, according to the study's authors, especially alarming in light of the growing obesity and diabetes epidemics, which cost California $6 billion and $18 billion per year, respectively.

Counties where survey respondents had on average more than five times the number of unhealthy retail food options as healthy options include San Bernardino (5.60), Stanislaus (5.48), Kern (5.23), Solano (5.11) and Fresno (5.01). All of these counties have higher rates of obesity and diabetes than counties with average RFEIs below three. In fact, Marin and Santa Cruz Counties, which had the lowest RFEI scores (2.06 and 2.24, respectively), had both the lowest obesity and diabetes prevalence in the state....

"Whether we realize it or not, we are affected by the food choices around us," said Dr. Harold Goldstein of the California Center for Public Health Advocacy (CCPHA), one of the study's authors. "Maybe it's time to consider adding the fast-food joints and convenience stores around every corner to the Environmental Protection Agency's list of known environmental toxins. This study suggests that they may quite literally be making us sick."

Thanks to the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research for providing this information. My hope is that the policy-makers pay attention to the results! If you would like more about the Center for Health Policy Research, copy and paste the following URL:

And now that we've taken inventory of our eating/binge/purge proclivities, let's take a snapshot look at the percentage of people who are overweight or obese living in certain California counties. The selection process is mine, based on my criteria, which unfortunately eliminated most of the lesser known and sparsely populated places of the state. I wanted to focus on the more urban counties with diverse populations. Trust me, there are a number of counties like Siskiyou, Truckee, and Humboldt that are very un-diverse. That doesn't affect the rate of obesity, however. Economic factors come into play in those counties because many of the income-producing industries(logging, farming, factories, etc.)have closed down or moved on to more profitable operations in other states or countries. Nothing is more miserable than permanently losing a job, and addictive eating loves misery.

I have no idea if any other state or country has done health research studies like this. If you live in another state or country, please let me know if there is any statistics available concerning overweight/obesity rates. It would interesting to do some comparison and think about what drives people to eat in such an unhealthy manner. I know for me it's not a moral/self-control/willpower issue. I have an addiction to food, and the only way I can stop killing myself is to stop the constant hand to mouth motion, ask for Divine guidance and strength, then act as if that question has been answered, one day at a time. But I would like to hear about the results of other overweight/obesity surveys. I wonder how California would fare against Wyoming, or Rhode Island. Is there a state that is fatter than California in the U.S.? I would love to know!

Body Mass Index - 2 level Source: 2005 California Health Interview Survey
Not overweight or obese Overweight or obese
%Estimate %Estimate
Sacramento (my domicile) and surrounding counties
46.32% 53.68%
(42.7 - 50.0) (50.0 - 57.3)
514,000 596,000

50.42% 49.58%
(45.1 - 55.7) (44.3 - 54.9)
132,000 129,000

Sutter County
50.88% 49.12%
(44.2 - 57.6) (42.4 - 55.8)
37,000 36,000

43.61% 56.39%
(37.3 - 49.9) (50.1 - 62.7)
24,000 31,000

Of course, I had to show San Francisco and surrounding Bay Area counties:

55.05% 44.95%
(51.6 - 58.5) (41.5 - 48.4)
681,000 556,000

Contra Costa
45.42% 54.58%
(41.3 - 49.5) (50.5 - 58.7)
386,000 464,000

San Francisco
58.66% 41.34%
(54.3 - 63.0) (37.0 - 45.7)
409,000 288,000

San Mateo
57.52% 42.48%
(52.7 - 62.4) (37.6 - 47.3)
347,000 256,000

48.39% 51.61%
(43.0 - 53.8) (46.2 - 57.0)
192,000 205,000

45.93% 54.07%
(42.4 - 49.5) (50.5 - 57.6)
153,000 180,000

59.59% 40.41%
(57.3 - 61.9) (38.1 - 42.7)
123,000 84,000

49% 51%
(43.4 - 54.6) (45.4 - 56.6)
53,000 55,000

The shocker: Santa Barbara, with all its affluence, trendy gyms, spas and chi-chi restaurants, is pretty evenly divided between overweight/obese folks and the "beautiful" people!

Santa Barbara
50.08% 49.92%
(44.3 - 55.9) (44.1 - 55.7)
166,000 165,000

Lest you think that LA and surrounding counties has a cornucopia of beautifully svelte women and ripped, twelve-pack men running around on the beaches:
Los Angeles
48.55% 51.45%
(47.1 - 50.0) (50.0 - 52.9)
3,969,000 4,206,000

55.31% 44.69%
(52.6 - 58.1) (41.9 - 47.4)
1,369,000 1,106,000

Going down south isn't much better:

San Diego
50.09% 49.91%
(48.0 - 52.2) (47.8 - 52.0)
1,221,000 1,216,000

And the winner of the "Most Obese County in California Award" goes to:

37.54% 62.46%
(32.1 - 43.0) (57.0 - 67.9)
48,000 80,000

48.64% 51.36%
(48.0 - 49.3) (50.7 - 52.0)
14,469,000 15,278,000

Over HALF of the population of California is either overweight or obese!
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