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Food Addiction Institute
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The concept of food addiction is currently a highly debated subject within both the general public and the scientific communities. The term food addiction suggests that individuals may experience addictive-like responses to food, similar to those seen with classic substances of abuse. An increasing number of studies have established the prevalence and correlates of food addiction. Moreover, food addiction may be associated with obesity and disordered eating. Thus, intervening on food addiction may be helpful in the prevention and therapy of obesity and eating disorders. However, controversy exists about if this phenomenon is best defined through paradigms reflective of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) substance-related disorders (e.g. food addiction) or non-substance-related disorders (e.g. eating addiction) criteria. This review paper will give a brief summarisation of the current state of research on food addiction, a more precise definition of its classification, its differentiation from eating addiction and an overview on potential overlaps with eating disorders. Based on this review, there is evidence that food addiction may represent a distinct phenomenon from established eating disorders such as bulimia nervosa or binge-eating disorder. Future studies are needed to further examine and establish orthogonal diagnostic criteria specific to food addiction. Such criteria must differentiate the patterns of eating and symptoms that may be similar to those of eating disorders to further characterise food addiction and develop therapy options. To date, it is too premature to draw conclusions about the clinical significance of the concept of food addiction.
Food addiction is an emerging area of both clinical and research interest. The current review discussed several definitional and conceptual categorisations that have been put forth to quantify food addiction. However, the YFAS 2·0 concept predominates the literature. Similarly, evidence shows some similarities of food addiction with established eating disorders, particularly BED. Thus, the current review supports two main areas of contention that warrant much more research; considering food addiction as a substance-related addiction or a behavioural-related addiction and if food addiction is distinct from established eating disorders. Further research is needed to continue to delineate and clarify controversies about similarities and differences in food addiction with other concepts and established disorders.
Food addiction, eating addiction and eating disorders
Hauck, C., Cook, B., & Ellrott, T. (2020). Food addiction, eating addiction and eating disorders. Proceedings of the Nutrition Society, 79(1), 103–112. doi:10.1017/S0029665119001162
Food addiction, eating addiction and eating disorders

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