Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Binge eating may lead to addiction-like behaviors

Date:
April 24, 2012
Source:
Penn State
Summary:
A history of binge eating -- consuming large amounts of food in a short period of time -- may make an individual more likely to show other addiction-like behaviors, including substance abuse, according to researchers. In the short term, this finding may shed light on the factors that promote substance abuse, addiction, and relapse. In the long term, may help clinicians treat individuals suffering from this devastating disease.

A history of binge eating -- consuming large amounts of food in a short period of time -- may make an individual more likely to show other addiction-like behaviors, including substance abuse, according to Penn State College of Medicine researchers. In the short term, this finding may shed light on the factors that promote substance abuse, addiction, and relapse. In the long term, may help clinicians treat individuals suffering from this devastating disease.

Related Articles


"Drug addiction persists as a major problem in the United States," said Patricia Sue Grigson, Ph.D., professor, Department of Neural and Behavioral Sciences. "Likewise, excessive food intake, like binge eating, has become problematic. Substance-abuse and binge eating are both characterized by a loss of control over consumption. Given the common characteristics of these two types of disorders, it is not surprising that the co-occurrence of eating disorders and substance abuse disorders is high. It is unknown, however, whether loss of control in one disorder predisposes an individual to loss of control in another."

Grigson and her colleagues found a link between bingeing on fat and the development of cocaine-seeking and -taking behaviors in rats, suggesting that conditions promoting excessive behavior toward one substance can increase the probability of excessive behavior toward another. They report their results in Behavioral Neuroscience.

The researchers used rats to test whether a history of binge eating on fat would augment addiction-like behavior toward cocaine by giving four groups of rats four different diets: normal rat chow; continuous ad lib access to an optional source of dietary fat; one hour of access to optional dietary fat daily; and one hour of access to dietary fat on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. All four groups also had unrestricted access to nutritionally complete chow and water. The researchers then assessed the cocaine-seeking and -taking behaviors.

"Fat bingeing behaviors developed in the rats with access to dietary fat on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays -- the group with the most restricted access to the optional fat," Grigson said.

This group tended to take more cocaine late in training, continued to try to get cocaine when signaled it was not available, and worked harder for cocaine as work requirements increased.

"While the underlying mechanisms are not known, one point is clear from behavioral data: A history of bingeing on fat changed the brain, physiology, or both in a manner that made these rats more likely to seek and take a drug when tested more than a month later," Grigson said. "We must identify these predisposing neurophysiological changes."

While the consumption of fat in and of itself did not increase the likelihood of subsequent addiction-like behavior for cocaine, the irregular binge-type manner in which the fat was eaten proved critical. Rats that had continuous access to fat consumed more fat than any other group, but were three times less likely to exhibit addiction-like behavior for cocaine than the group with access only on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

"Indeed, while about 20 percent of those rats and humans exposed to cocaine will develop addiction-like behavior for the drug under normal circumstances, in our study, the probability of addiction to cocaine increased to approximately 50 (percent) for subjects with a history of having binged on fat," Grigson said.

Future studies will look more closely at how bingeing can lead to addiction-like behaviors -- whether bingeing on sugar or a mixture of sugar and fat also promotes cocaine or heroin addiction, for example, and whether bingeing on a drug, in turn, increases the likelihood of bingeing on fat.

To hear Grigson discuss her findings in more detail on the 'Sound Research' podcast, go to http://goo.gl/zdwP5 online.

Other researchers are Matthew D. Puhl, Angie M. Cason, Department of Neural and Behavioral Sciences, Penn State College of Medicine; Rebecca L. Corwin and Francis H.E. Wojnicki, Department of Nutritional Sciences, Penn State.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse funded this research.


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

Penn State. "Binge eating may lead to addiction-like behaviors." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 April 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120424121858.htm>.
Penn State. (2012, April 24). Binge eating may lead to addiction-like behaviors. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120424121858.htm
Penn State. "Binge eating may lead to addiction-like behaviors." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120424121858.htm (accessed November 1, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Alzheimer’s Hope

Alzheimer’s Hope

Ivanhoe (Oct. 31, 2014) A new drug, BCI-838 offers new hope to halt and possibly reverse the damage of Alzheimer’s disease. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Studying Effects of Music on Dementia Patients

Studying Effects of Music on Dementia Patients

AP (Oct. 30, 2014) The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee is studying the popular Music and Memory program to see if music, which helps improve the mood of Alzheimer's patients, can also reduce the use of prescription drugs for those suffering from dementia. (Oct. 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Techy Tots Are Forefront of London's Baby Show

Techy Tots Are Forefront of London's Baby Show

AP (Oct. 28, 2014) Moms and Dads get a more hands-on approach to parenting with tech-centric products for raising their little ones. (Oct. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cocoa Could Be As Good For Memory As It Is For A Sweet Tooth

Cocoa Could Be As Good For Memory As It Is For A Sweet Tooth

Newsy (Oct. 27, 2014) Researchers have come up with another reason why dark chocolate is good for your health. A substance in the treat can reportedly help with memory. 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