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Food Addiction Institute
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An increasingly influential perspective conceptualizes both obesity and overeating as a food addiction accompanied by corresponding brain changes. Because there are far-reaching implications for clinical practice and social policy if it becomes widely accepted, a critical evaluation of this model is important. We examine the current evidence for the link between addiction and obesity, identifying several fundamental shortcomings in the model, as well as weaknesses and inconsistencies in the empirical support for it from human neuroscientific research. At the outset, it is important to acknowledge that the food-addiction literature has largely adopted the clinical model of addiction as defined by the DSM-IV. Although this model has clinical validity, in the addiction research literature it has been supplemented, and to an extent superseded, by powerful neurobiological models that have decomposed the clinical syndrome in terms of its core cognitive processes and their possible neural substrates (BOX 1). This approach, which is based on a growing understanding of the neurobiology of addiction, is welcome and — as we discuss — may offer new ways of identifying overlap between obesity and addiction. However, this article is primarily concerned with the existing arguments in favour of addiction as a model for obesity, arguments that draw on clinical definitions.
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.
Obesity and the brain how convincing is the addiction model?
Ziauddeen, H., Farooqi, I. S., & Fletcher, P. C. (2012). Obesity and the brain: how convincing is the addiction model? Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 13(4), 279–286. doi:10.1038/nrn3212
Obesity and the brain how convincing is the addiction model?

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