Is Comfort Food > or = to Junk Food?

I was curious about something that links to a post on the #nationalfoodstrategy that I recently put up on the British Society of Lifestyle Medicine Facebook group concerning #trauma.

Before I go on, I want to make it clear that the observation I made when I looked is not a criticism of what this document outlines, as I believe it highlights many important issues.

I went to the document and did a search for two terms. First, the term #junkfood. Using iBooks, there are 36 matches found. The second is #comfortfood and again using iBooks, there are “No matches found”

I don’t know about you, I find that very interesting and quite telling and it makes me think there is a significant education job required at the political/government level and perhaps in other areas as well.

My logic for thinking this is this:

Food and drink is both essential for life, plus many of us do like to enjoy what we eat and drink (especially when it links to social activity). The term ‘comfort food’ is probably quite personal, going on my conversation with my wife, and what ‘comfort food’ means to her.

Also, if you are someone who struggles with social activity, my guess is that you still look to enjoy your food and get some ‘comfort’ from what you are eating and drinking.

Plus, when you have suffered an event in your life that has lead to significant discomfort and trauma, you will want to find ways to bring that comfort back into your world.

Just to help illustrate, using an example I have read in a few books now, when a person experiences very uncomfortable, and traumatic, sexual advances from another person, they can react (over a period of time) by eating significant amounts of food, and they may find it difficult to control that, or understand what is driving that behaviour.

What I believe could be happening in a situation like that is, they have reacted to the trauma and they need to be comforted. So for that person (and we are all different), turning to foods or perhaps drink, that help them to feel comfortable, will offer a form of therapy and in fact for them that is ‘self-care’.

If this ‘logic’ makes sense, then for me, if an update of the Food Strategy was to be produced, I’d love to see a few mentions of ‘comfort food’ in there.
#mentalhealth #wellness #education #food #health