Neurobiology of food addiction

  title={Neurobiology of food addiction},
  author={Daniel M. Blumenthal and Mark S. Gold},
  journal={Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care},
  • Daniel M. Blumenthal, M. Gold
  • Published 1 July 2010
  • Biology, Psychology, Medicine
  • Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care
Purpose of reviewTo review recent work on disorders related to food use, including food addiction, and to highlight the similarities and differences between food and drugs of abuse. Recent findingsRecent work on food use disorders has demonstrated that the same neurobiological pathways that are implicated in drug abuse also modulate food consumption, and that the body's regulation of food intake involves a complex set of peripheral and central signaling networks. Moreover, new research… 
Food addiction and neuroimaging.
A summary of literature on food addition from eight different perspectives is provided, and a research paradigm that may allow screening of new pharmacological treatment on the basis of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) is proposed.
The role of food addiction in clinical research.
The inclusion of validated food addiction measures in clinical research will add to the understanding of the clinical utility of this concept and lead to a better clinical understanding of obesity and eating disorders.
Is fast food addictive?
Findings support the role of fast food as a potentially addictive substance that is most likely to create dependence in vulnerable populations.
Can food be addictive? Public health and policy implications.
Although there exist important differences between foods and addictive drugs, ignoring analogous neural and behavioral effects of foods and drugs of abuse may result in increased food-related disease and associated social and economic burdens.
Overlaps in the nosology of substance abuse and overeating: the translational implications of "food addiction".
The utility of the concept of "food addiction" as it may relate to treating certain disordered eating behaviors is discussed, and preclinical data revealing that the addiction-like behavioral changes observed in response to overeating are concomitant with neurochemical changes that are similar to those observed in Response to drugs of abuse are discussed.
Food Addiction and Tobacco Use Disorder: Common Liability and Shared Mechanisms
A narrative review aimed to highlight literature that investigated prevalence, biology, psychology, and treatment options of food addiction and tobacco use disorder, as there is emerging evidence that the two disorders can develop concurrently or sequentially within individuals.
Food Addiction and Binge Eating: Lessons Learned from Animal Models
This review aims to summarize the most relevant animal models of “eating addictive behaviour”, emphasising binge eating disorder, that could help to understand the neurobiological mechanisms hidden under this behaviour, and to improve the psychotherapy and pharmacological treatment in patients suffering from these pathologies.


Food addiction: true or false?
Findings may serve to validate the perception of food addiction in patients and inform psychoeducational, cognitive-behavioral, and/or pharmacological treatment for chronic food cravings, compulsive overeating, and binge eating that may represent a phenotype of obesity.
Food Addiction: An Examination of the Diagnostic Criteria for Dependence
The current state of food addiction research is reviewed in the context of each of the diagnostic criterion for dependence (ie, tolerance, withdrawal, loss of control) and other relevant addiction topics such as expectancies, reinforcement, and incentive salience are briefly explored.
Food addiction in humans.
  • M. Pelchat
  • Biology, Medicine
    The Journal of nutrition
  • 2009
Healthy, normal weight individuals, by definition, do not suffer from food addiction; however, overweight and obese individuals could meet clinical criteria.
Sugar and fat bingeing have notable differences in addictive-like behavior.
It is discussed how fat may be the macronutrient that results in excess body weight, and sweet taste in the absence offat may be largely responsible for producing addictive-like behaviors that include a withdrawal syndrome.
Homeostatic and hedonic signals interact in the regulation of food intake.
This article reviews the extensive research that has identified several mechanisms by which repeated exposure to drugs of abuse alters neuronal function and increases the motivational incentive to obtain and use these substances and discusses the clinical implications in the context of obesity and neuropsychiatric syndromes such as bulimia nervosa and Prader-Willi syndrome.
Dopamine D2 receptors in addiction-like reward dysfunction and compulsive eating in obese rats
Overconsumption of palatable food triggers addiction-like neuroadaptive responses in brain reward circuits and drives the development of compulsive eating, demonstrating that common hedonic mechanisms may underlie obesity and drug addiction.
Imaging of Brain Dopamine Pathways: Implications for Understanding Obesity
The results from these studies suggest that multiple but similar brain circuits are disrupted in obesity and drug addiction and suggest that strategies aimed at improving DA function might be beneficial in the treatment and prevention of obesity.