Weight Loss

Who Does Food Noise Affect the Most?

Key Takeaways
  • People with overweight/obesity, as well as those with maladaptive eating behaviors, have reported higher than normal levels of food noise. However, food noise is self-reported, and appears to be highly individualized in nature.
  • For some people, frequent or severe food noise can result in developing maladaptive eating behaviors.
  • Maladaptive food behaviors usually develop in teens and young adults, but it can happen to anyone. 
  • We don’t know what triggers more food noise for some people than others.
  • Psychotherapy or behavioral therapy may benefit those experiencing abnormally high levels of food noise. Anecdotally, some people have reported that weight loss medications, in combination with lifestyle changes have reduced the frequency and/or severity of their ongoing food noise.

Over the last few years, the concept of ‘food noise’ is reshaping the way we think about internal triggers for eating. These natural eating cues have always been integral in the human experience, since we believe our ancestors used food noise triggers to avoid starvation.

However, food noise doesn’t appear the same to everyone. For some, food noise can become an excessive, intense, and distracting part of your daily life, where you’re constantly thinking about food or food cravings.

So much so, it can start to affect your ability to make healthy dietary choices, or to focus on their regular tasks as you go about your day.

This page is going to help you understand who can get food noise, and whether there are certain people more susceptible to food noise than others.

Who is Likely to Suffer from Food Noise?

Who gets the most food noise? Food noise itself hasn’t actually been studied very much, so this is a difficult question to answer.

People that have overweight or are living with obesity have been observed as having higher than normal levels of food noise. This is also true of those living with maladaptive eating behaviors (i.e., binge eating, etc.).

However, because the only way to track food noise is to get patients to self-report, it becomes difficult to assess and measure the frequency/severity of food noise; other than through the patients’ own descriptions.

  • Due to each person’s experience being unique, this leads to extremely individualized results when taking measurements. Two people living in similar-sized larger bodies or with different BMIs may experience totally different levels of food noise.
  • If you’d like to talk to a healthcare practitioner about food noise that you’re experiencing, and whether weight loss medications may assist with reducing food noise, complete a short online assessment.

How Does Food Noise Affect Eating Habits?

The transition from normal eating cues to constantly thinking about food can potentially start to impact your eating habits. This could be seen as 3 stages of impact:

  1. Intrusive or persistent thoughts about food start to cause either a psychological or physiological response to food cues.
  2. This response then leads to actions or behaviors that result in overeating.
  3. Eventually, if left untreated, these ongoing behaviors can lead to disordered eating. Disordered eating can impact your weight management journey.

What is Maladaptive Eating Behaviour?

Maladaptive eating behaviours are behaviours that are related to eating; specifically eating behaviours that aren’t ‘serving’ you.

These eating behaviors can lead to psychological, physiological, or health consequences (i.e., eating due to emotional states, fatigue, boredom, or external factors). They may be negatively affected by emotions, social influences, or any factors other than the actual physical nutrition that your body needs to function.

Most of the time, these behaviors start between adolescence and young adulthood, but they can start during any phase of life. It’s more common to find maladaptive eating behaviors in wealthier countries than poorer ones.

Prolonged maladaptive eating behaviors can lead to a number of different health issues. These behaviors can also worsen the emotional problems that may underlie or trigger these eating behaviors in the first place.

What Triggers Maladaptive Eating Behavior?

We don’t really know the exact cause that triggers maladaptive eating behaviors.

Some believe that it could be related to a shift from typical eating cues to heightened food cue responsiveness, which could be the result of increased frequency or severity of food noise (i.e., constantly thinking about food and food cravings).

No one knows for sure, but some anecdotal evidence suggests that food noise may be reduced through weight loss medications, in combination with lifestyle changes. If you’re living with obesity and would like to discuss potentially starting weight management treatments, talk to a healthcare practitioner at Felix today.

What Helps with Controlling Food Cravings for Weight Loss?

Psychological skills, especially those that work on affecting the ‘reward center’ of the brain, are a valuable tool in how to control food cravings for weight loss.

However, for some people, psychotherapy or behavioral therapy may not be enough to manage their food noise alone.

Thankfully,  anecdotally it is suggested that weight loss medications, in combination with lifestyle changes may be beneficial in controlling or reducing food noise for people that are constantly thinking about food or food cravings.

This appears to be a potential side effect of the medication for some patients, though it doesn’t appear to occur in every case. Like the results of weight loss medications themselves, the impact these treatments have on food noise seems to be highly individualized.

When Should I Talk to My Practitioner About Food Noise?

Do you have overweight or are living with obesity? Is your weight starting to impact your health or your daily quality of life? Do you think about food constantly, to the point that it’s impacting your ability to work or relax? Then it’s time to talk to a healthcare practitioner at Felix.

Just complete a short online assessment, at your convenience, and if your practitioner believes that weight loss treatment could be a beneficial part of your weight management plan, they can help get you started.

With Felix in your corner, you can start taking back control of your health, so that you can get back to living life on your terms - the way it should be.

Medically reviewed by


Weight Loss Treatment FAQ

Questions about our weight loss treatment? We’ve got answers. Remember, you can always reach out to us directly through your Felix dashboard.

What You Need to Know About Felix's Weight Loss Program Pricing

At Felix, we believe weight loss programs should provide judgement-free treatment and address biological factors such as genetics, hormones and metabolic rate that determine your weight — while being completely transparent about all costs involved.

Weight Loss Medications & PCOS Management

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a complex medical condition that is associated with many different symptoms, some of which may be able to be addressed by some prescription weight loss medications.
Get on-demand treatment for your everyday health.
Find your treatment