Another Obesity Explanation: Food Addiction

Photo: Hemera

Some people really are addicted to foods in a similar way others might be dependent on certain substances, like addictive illegal or prescriptions drugs, or alcohol, researchers from Yale University revealed in Archives of General Psychiatry. Those with an addictive-like behavior seem to have more neural activity in specific parts of the brain in the same way substance-dependent people appear to have, the authors explained.

More here.

I have to say, if you were to catalog all the explanations given for obesity in scholarly journals and elsewhere, it would be hard to find something that isn’t said to cause it.

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  1. Ian Gotts says:

    A good friend of mine has foud a diet that works ELYFB (eat less you fat bastard). Having said that I now live in the USA and have found the size of portions compared with the UK must be a contributing factor. If it is on the plate then people will eat it?

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  2. Brian says:

    Yeah, well I guess I could say I’m addicted to air too. The specific chemical in air that is so addicting is Oxygen. If I go more than 30 seconds or so without it I start to go through withdraws.

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  3. badu says:

    Food addiction is nonsense, we are all ‘addicted’ to food, we need it to live.

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  4. Lucas Reis says:

    One of the best science books I’ve already read is “Good Calories, Bad Calories” by Gary Taubes. He dissects the nutrition bibliography and concludes that carbs are the real villains, and dietary fat is not.

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    • Charn Robertson says:

      Not correct. Refined and processed foods, which leeds to
      altered sugar content and fibre reduction, is the problem. Carbohydrates are very important of any nutrition plan. The question to ask about carbs is , did they come from a whole food like pumpkin or high fructose corn starch, which is added to so many food products? Munching a bunch of carrots (yes, they do contain carbs) will not destroy your health like doughnuts. Get the source right, get your health right

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    • Adam Kitchen says:

      Lucas, that is not a science book. That is a poorly constructed theory that has been destroyed by several renowned nutrition experts across the net. Taubes’ hypothesis is wrong on so many levels. The reason carb restriction works is because it restricts calories. The whole insulin-is-the-bad-buy theory has been proven wrong in tons of scientific research.

      There are no villians. Overeating is the only villian as excess calories lead to bodyfat accumulation, not a certain unit of energy in particular. Do not confuse correlation with causation – leave that to Taubes. Start reading books by Jamie Hale, Lyle McDonald & Alan Aragon.

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  5. Andreas Moser says:

    Of course we are addicted to food. Otherwise we would starve.

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  6. wle says:

    “obese people are addicted to foods ” – isn;t that a tautology?


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  7. Vince Skolny says:

    Obesity is a disease– a disease that can be cured by 90-180 days of sensible diet and vigorous exercise.

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  8. Iran Monroy says:

    I agree there are some people more likely to become dependents on substances including food, but i will also add responsibility to the food industry which with all the food engineers employed are changing the natural content of aliments to become more addictive, i just read about hyper palatable and the effects in the brain, the way food additives such salt, sugar and fat change our behavior as they provoke chemical reactions in people’s bodies. I did the experiment, i’m a fit man with a well equilibrate diet, everyday since high school i eat plain vegetables, fruits and grains, avoiding those additives, and eureka, i just eat what i need, but when i start eating sweets i start feeling compulsive, i can’t stop, i neither smoke nor drink, but i feel like taking a chocolate and want to buy more promising myself won’t be more than for a a day, from tomorrow never again.

    This conditions is more related to the food industry’s economic point than about the human behavior, so be careful on what your put in your mouth better than concerning your phycological condition.

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