Food Addiction and Obesity

Authored by: Catherine L. Carpenter

Handbook of Nutrition and Food

Print publication date:  July  2013
Online publication date:  April  2016

Print ISBN: 9781466505711
eBook ISBN: 9781466505728
Adobe ISBN:


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Studies about determinants of obesity have primarily focused on poor nutrition and lack of exercise. Addictive behaviors, in relationship to overeating and food craving, may however represent an important pathway to obesity that has received little study until recently. The lack of research can partially be explained by conflicting acceptance about the role of addiction in development of obesity. 1 4 The following chapter will provide an overview about addictive behavior, what parts of the brain promote addiction, the potential interrelationships between brain regions that influence eating and addiction, and segments of the population that may be predisposed to food addiction and overeating. Differing views and evidence about whether food addiction can be considered a determinant of obesity or a consequence of obesity will be presented throughout this chapter.

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