Many people sneer at the idea that addiction is a disease. "Surely so-and-so can just stop drinking" they say about alcoholics, unaware that an alcoholic can't control his craving for more drink -- just as a cancer or diabetes patient can't control the progression of his disease. Anyone who knows an alcoholic, or a hard core drug addict, will know that many of them desperately want to give up but are unable to.
The media, society and relaxed licensing laws all have a part to play in the rise in eating disorders or alcohol-related diseases, but I believe the problem goes much deeper than that. From my experience, recovery from addiction lies at our core - with those deep, painful feelings that drive us to drink, drugs or food - and not on the surface.