Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Role of addiction cannot be ignored in obesity epidemic

Date:
December 23, 2009
Source:
McMaster University
Summary:
Researchers argue that food addiction in some individuals may be a reality and needs to be considered in the management of weight problems.

The causes of obesity are complex and individual, but it is clear that chronic overeating plays a fundamental role. But when this behaviour becomes compulsive and out of control, it is often classified as "food addiction" -- a label that has generated considerable controversy, according to a McMaster University psychiatrist and obesity researcher.

Related Articles


In a commentary appearing in the Dec. 21, 2009, issue of the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ), Dr. Valerie Taylor, an assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioural neurosciences at McMaster and director of the Bariatric Surgery Psychiatry Program at St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton, and her co-authors argue that food addiction in some individuals may be a reality and needs to be considered in the management of weight problems.

"The concept of addiction is complex, and the delineation of its defining characteristics has fostered considerable debate," Taylor and her co-authors write. "Despite a lack of consensus, researchers nevertheless agree that the process involves a compulsive pattern of use, even in the face of negative health and social consequences."

Food addiction can be compared to other addictive behaviours, as both food and drugs can cause tolerance, or an increase in the amount required to achieve intoxication or satiety. Withdrawal symptoms such as mood changes can occur after discontinuing drugs or during dieting. As well, after gastric surgery for obesity, a subset of patients exhibit other addictive behaviours.

"The concept of addiction does not negate the role of free will and personal choice," Taylor and co-authors write. "It may, however, provide insight into why a some individuals with obesity continue to struggle."

The authors conclude that therapies traditionally applied to the area of addiction may be helpful in managing weight problems, which are often viewed through the same lens.

"The current 'blame' mentality that is often applied to individuals with obesity needs to be re-examined," the authors write. "Although medicine may not yet accept compulsive overeating as an addiction, we cannot ignore evidence highlighting the role played by biologic vulnerability and environmental triggers."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by McMaster University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

McMaster University. "Role of addiction cannot be ignored in obesity epidemic." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 December 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091222105231.htm>.
McMaster University. (2009, December 23). Role of addiction cannot be ignored in obesity epidemic. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 4, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091222105231.htm
McMaster University. "Role of addiction cannot be ignored in obesity epidemic." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091222105231.htm (accessed March 4, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Adults Only Get The Flu Twice A Decade, Researchers Say

Adults Only Get The Flu Twice A Decade, Researchers Say

Newsy (Mar. 4, 2015) Researchers found adults only get the flu about once every five years. Scientists analyzed how a person&apos;s immunity builds up over time as well. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Mount Everest Has a Poop Problem

Mount Everest Has a Poop Problem

Buzz60 (Mar. 4, 2015) With no bathrooms to use, climbers of Mount Everest have been leaving human waste on the mountain for years, and it&apos;s becoming a health issue. Mike Janela (@mikejanela) has more. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obamacare's New Supreme Court Battle

Obamacare's New Supreme Court Battle

Washington Post (Mar. 4, 2015) The Affordable Care Act is facing another challenge at the Supreme Court in King v. Burwell, which deals with subsidies for health insurance. The case could cut out a major provision of Obamacare, causing the law to unravel. Here’s what you need to know about the case. Video provided by Washington Post
Powered by NewsLook.com
Investigation Finds Hurt Workers Suffer More In Some States

Investigation Finds Hurt Workers Suffer More In Some States

Newsy (Mar. 4, 2015) ProPublica and NPR&apos;s joint investigation found drastic cuts to workers compensation benefits and employees&apos; access to those benefits. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins