the man behind the curve

E. Morton Jellinek—the man whose research provided the foundations for the Curve—is regarded as a major figure in both the emergence of the alcohol science movement as well as the modern alcoholism movement. Born in New York City in 1890, Jellinek was the son of Hungarian immigrants. He held a variety of occupations both here and abroad before landing a job as a biostatistician at Worcester State Hospital (Massachusetts) in 1931.

He entered the field of alcohol science in 1939 when he was asked to manage the Carnegie Project. This project was the first substantial grant that was won by the newly formed Research Council on the Problems of Alcohol (RCPA). A few years later, he went on to work for the Yale Center for Alcohol Research. Despite his inexperience in the field of alcohol research, Jellinek attempted to help define the role of science in relation to society and the use of alcohol within society.

signs and warnings

The first signs of warning in the Jellinek curve are increased intake and tolerance to your preferred substance; be it food, wine or pills – and for many the tendency to start hiding their consumption.

Hiding your eating normally starts because the person eating is aware that it is already problematic, feels a great deal of shame – and maybe her closest relations have started to notice a weight gain or candy wrappers in the car and are reacting to this. The addiction has planted its roots.


In the Jellinek curve the following phase of food addiction is abusing food in everyday life. A step down the ladder from excessive use. This period is characterized by loss of control (a person suffering from Emotional Eating has a hard time stopping once they have started), problems in close relationships, at work, and mental challenges such as difficulties concentrating and finishing tasks.

regular addiction

The progressed abuse culminates in actual addiction where the physical, psychological and social problems seems to grow and grow.  When we are not overeating we are dieting and obsessive thoughts and withdrawals increase, at this stage, suicidal thoughts are not unusual. Our consumption has entered such a negative spiral that we can not exit it without help!

based on emotional eating

description of the 3 stages

Stage 1 – excessive use

Increased tolerance

First occurrences of overeating

Eats in hiding

Thoughts are focused on food

Eats quickly and/or chucks down first mouthfuls

Feels uncomfortable and/or totally in her element whilst talking about food, dinners, diets and  restrictions.

Stage 2 – abuse

Loss of control

Excuses and explanations

Comments from family or loved ones

Grandiose and superior behaviours

Prone to verbally attack and pick fights

Constant feeling of guilt

Frequent dieting

Changed eating patterns

Loss of relations

Has a hard time fulfilling tasks – maybe job loss

Visits to Doctors. Typically for weight related issues and/or anxiety and depression related problems.

Displays of anger

Geographical flight

Creates a stash of hidden candies, cakes and/or chips

Overeats every day

Stage 3 – addiction

Overeats/binges several days in a row

Breakdown of ethical values

Loss of concentration

Obsessing over food and dieting

Indeterminable feeling of fear and anxiety

Physical reactions

Vague religious feelings can arise

Eats, drinks or shops to keep feelings at bay

Eating patterns roll in an evil spiral

Has no excuses left

Has no explanations left

Suicidal thoughts

Helene Philipsen Emotional Eating Overeating Binge eating disorder self-love
Helene Philipsen Emotional Eating Overeating Binge eating disorder self-love

Start typing and press Enter to search