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Some People Become Addicted To Delicious Foods, Leading To Compulsive Eating, Obesity

July 12, 2011: 12:00 AM EST
People can become addicted to delicious foods and become compulsive about consuming them, in much the same way as drug addicts and alcoholics, according to unpublished Canadian research. For the study, researchers analyzed the answers to a questionnaire completed by a group of obese people to diagnose substance dependence. People were then classified as either food addicts or non-addicts. The two groups were compared in three areas associated with conventional addiction disorders. Food addicts were more likely to show evidence of binge-eating disorder and depression, as well as symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. "These findings advance our search for clinically relevant subtypes of obesity that may possess different biological and psychological vulnerabilities to environmental risk factors,” researchers said.
Dr. Caroline Davis, et al., "Evidence for Food Addiction in Humans", News release, presentation at the annual meeting of the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior, July 12, 2011, © Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior
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