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Is food addiction real?

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The idea that a person can be addicted to food has gained more support, based on brain imaging and other studies of the effects of compulsive overeating on pleasure centers in the brain. Experiments in animals and humans show that, for some people, the same reward and pleasure centers of the brain that are triggered by addictive drugs like cocaine and heroin are also activated by food.

People who are addicted to food will continue to eat despite negative consequences, such as weight gain or damaged relationships. And like people who are addicted to drugs or gambling, people who are addicted to food will have trouble stopping their behavior, even if they want to or have tried many times to cut back.

From: Food Addiction WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

Meule, A. , Nov. 3, 2011. Frontiers in Psychiatry

Volkow, N. , January 2011. Trends in Cognitive Science

Gearhardt, A. , August 2011. Archives of General Psychiatry

Rudd Center for Food Science and Policy, Yale University: "Yale Food Addiction Scale." 

Rudd Center for Food Science and Policy, Yale University: "Food and Addiction."

Reviewed by Joseph Goldberg on August 3, 2018

SOURCES:

Meule, A. , Nov. 3, 2011. Frontiers in Psychiatry

Volkow, N. , January 2011. Trends in Cognitive Science

Gearhardt, A. , August 2011. Archives of General Psychiatry

Rudd Center for Food Science and Policy, Yale University: "Yale Food Addiction Scale." 

Rudd Center for Food Science and Policy, Yale University: "Food and Addiction."

Reviewed by Joseph Goldberg on August 3, 2018

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What types of foods are addictive?

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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

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