I've noticed a pattern. It is something that has been described to me by a number of clients. It goes like this:
The woman (it is usually a woman) has children and the children are old enough to be distant, but still young enough to require looking after.
So either the kid(s) come home from school or she fetches them. She is tired, and her partner is still working and won't be back until 7 or so. A hard working family.
So the kids get home and park themselves in front of a screen, and the woman in question starts to make stuff for them, because that is what you have to do isn't it. Sandwiches; maybe a proper meal, it depends on the family and their timings.
It's all about looking after other people. Cooking, feeding children, and they've got to a stage where they are not really interacting with Mum. So Mum is cooking and the kids are concentrating on a screen of some sort. They have had a hard day at school and that is tough. They need to relax.
The partner isn't home. The woman (usually) is a bit bored, and a bit lonely. Guess what she does?
She nibbles, or she eats "samples" of their food, or maybe even gets a drink.
In some cases this behaviour will become more pronounced, and start to border on, or become, a secret eating / drinking habit.
So of course when the partner comes home hunger has gone, the wish to cook is depleted, there is maybe some guilt lurking in the wings.
I've met quite a few people with variations of this pattern, and it's a difficult trough to climb out of. I've found that the combination of analysing the pattern step by step and a variety of "interventions" has helped people regain control.
It's a really hard thing to overcome, and it seems suprisingly common.