Addiction

In 2001, Dr. Nora Volkow (Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse) and her colleagues at the Brookhaven National Laboratory published a groundbreaking study entitled: “Brain Dopamine and Obesity.”  The study reported the unexpected finding that very obese people had lower levels of dopamine in the “reward” areas of their brains than did people who were normal weighted. This organic change in the brain’s reward center is the marker of all addictions. Chronic exposure to an addictive substance – in this case certain sugary/fatty/salty food combinations - appears to reduce the dopamine receptor population, leading to a dramatic reduction in perceived pleasure and satisfaction from the substance which then leads to a cycle of seeking more of the food to achieve the desired mental state.

 

Since that discovery, Volkow and now many other expert obesity researchers and clinicians have been considering the role of food addiction in both the etiology of obesity and the difficulty most people have with attaining and sustaining positive weight management. In addition to the early evidence of substance “tolerance” (needing more for same effect), there are accumulating studies reporting the presence of the second marker of addiction - substance “withdrawal” – wherein  people refraining from ingesting the addiction foods have the symptoms of severe craving,  headaches, tremors and even delirium typical of addicts “detoxing” from alcohol and drugs. 

 

Is this you?  Do you have a food addiction? How do you know? Is food addiction different than binge eating, emotional eating and compulsive overeating?  These are complicated but potentially very important questions.  If you have a food addiction to some foods (substance addiction) and/or an addiction to certain ways of eating (process addiction), what do you do about it? 

 

At this point, research and treatment models for food addiction are still in relative infancy, so we don't have definitive answers to the questions above.  Still, we think it is important to engage you in learning about this important topic (biology and psychology) and we urge you to read what appeals to you in the research below as grist for learning about yourself.

I regard "Compulsive Overeating as an Addictive Disorder" (see below Compulsiveovereatingasanaddictiondis) as one of the most illuminating "must" reads to date.  I so like Caroline Davis (one of the authors of that article) on this so I would also recommend "Emotions and Eating Behavior." So you might want to begin with these. Also, please note that I put most of these articles on this page in April of 2011. If you look closely, though, you will see that I just added some of the articles in January 2013. You might do well to focus on a couple from 2011 and a couple from 2013.  There are lots of choices!!!
 
Please look below for articles on Food Addiction.
Ċ
Bill Picon,
Apr 6, 2017, 10:28 AM
Ċ
Bill Picon,
Mar 14, 2013, 1:35 AM
Ċ
Bill Picon,
Jan 17, 2013, 11:23 AM
Ċ
Bill Picon,
Apr 8, 2011, 12:56 AM
Ċ
Bill Picon,
Apr 8, 2011, 12:55 AM
Ċ
Bill Picon,
Apr 8, 2011, 12:49 AM
Ċ
Bill Picon,
Apr 8, 2011, 12:56 AM
Ċ
Bill Picon,
Apr 8, 2011, 12:56 AM
Ċ
Bill Picon,
Nov 16, 2011, 1:00 PM
ĉ
Bill Picon,
Apr 8, 2011, 12:56 AM
Ċ
Bill Picon,
Jan 17, 2013, 11:24 AM
Ċ
Bill Picon,
Apr 8, 2011, 12:56 AM
ĉ
Bill Picon,
Apr 8, 2011, 12:57 AM
ĉ
Bill Picon,
Apr 8, 2011, 12:57 AM
Ċ
Bill Picon,
Apr 8, 2011, 12:57 AM
Ċ
Bill Picon,
Apr 8, 2011, 12:57 AM
Ċ
Bill Picon,
Jan 17, 2013, 11:24 AM
Ċ
Bill Picon,
Apr 8, 2011, 12:58 AM
Ċ
Bill Picon,
Jan 17, 2013, 11:24 AM
Ċ
Bill Picon,
Apr 8, 2011, 12:58 AM
ĉ
Bill Picon,
Apr 8, 2011, 12:58 AM
Ċ
Bill Picon,
Apr 8, 2011, 12:58 AM
Ċ
Bill Picon,
Apr 8, 2011, 12:58 AM
Ċ
Bill Picon,
Nov 16, 2011, 4:34 PM
Ċ
Bill Picon,
Apr 8, 2011, 1:01 AM
Ċ
Bill Picon,
Apr 8, 2011, 12:58 AM
ĉ
Bill Picon,
Apr 8, 2011, 12:59 AM
Ċ
Bill Picon,
Apr 8, 2011, 12:59 AM
Ċ
Bill Picon,
Apr 8, 2011, 12:59 AM
Ċ
Bill Picon,
Apr 8, 2011, 12:59 AM
Ċ
Bill Picon,
Jan 17, 2013, 11:25 AM
Ċ
Bill Picon,
Apr 8, 2011, 1:02 AM
Ċ
Bill Picon,
Jan 17, 2013, 11:25 AM
ĉ
Bill Picon,
Apr 8, 2011, 1:00 AM
Ċ
Bill Picon,
Apr 8, 2011, 1:00 AM
Ċ
Bill Picon,
Jan 17, 2013, 11:25 AM
ĉ
Bill Picon,
Apr 8, 2011, 1:00 AM
Ċ
Bill Picon,
Apr 8, 2011, 1:03 AM
Ċ
Bill Picon,
Apr 8, 2011, 1:03 AM
Ċ
Bill Picon,
Apr 8, 2011, 1:06 AM
Ċ
Bill Picon,
Apr 8, 2011, 1:06 AM
ĉ
Bill Picon,
Apr 8, 2011, 1:06 AM
Ċ
Bill Picon,
Jan 17, 2013, 11:26 AM
Ċ
Bill Picon,
Jan 17, 2013, 11:27 AM
Ċ
Bill Picon,
Jan 17, 2013, 11:27 AM
Ċ
Bill Picon,
Apr 8, 2011, 1:07 AM
Ċ
Bill Picon,
Apr 8, 2011, 1:07 AM
Ċ
Bill Picon,
Apr 8, 2011, 1:07 AM
Ċ
Bill Picon,
Apr 8, 2011, 1:07 AM
Ċ
Bill Picon,
Apr 8, 2011, 12:58 AM
Comments