Food addiction is a nonmedical term that refers to a compulsion to eat specific foods, usually those that are high in sugar or starch. Although this term is used to describe intense cravings to seek out specific foods, these foods are not, in and of themselves, physically addictive in the way a drug might be. Instead, the need to pursue and consume these foods may be representative of a psychological disturbance, extreme anxiety, or emotional distress.
Cassell, Dana, and Gleaves, David (2000). The Encyclopedia of Eating Disorders, 2nd edition. New York: Facts on File.