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Food Addiction: Implications for the Diagnosis and Treatment of Overeating

1
CUBRIC, School of Psychology, Cardiff University, Maindy Road, Cardiff CF24 4HQ, UK
2
School of Psychology, College of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Exeter, Exeter EX4 4QG, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2019, 11(9), 2086; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11092086
Received: 15 July 2019 / Revised: 14 August 2019 / Accepted: 21 August 2019 / Published: 4 September 2019
With the obesity epidemic being largely attributed to overeating, much research has been aimed at understanding the psychological causes of overeating and using this knowledge to develop targeted interventions. Here, we review this literature under a model of food addiction and present evidence according to the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-5) criteria for substance use disorders. We review several innovative treatments related to a food addiction model ranging from cognitive intervention tasks to neuromodulation techniques. We conclude that there is evidence to suggest that, for some individuals, food can induce addictive-type behaviours similar to those seen with other addictive substances. However, with several DSM-5 criteria having limited application to overeating, the term ‘food addiction’ is likely to apply only in a minority of cases. Nevertheless, research investigating the underlying psychological causes of overeating within the context of food addiction has led to some novel and potentially effective interventions. Understanding the similarities and differences between the addictive characteristics of food and illicit substances should prove fruitful in further developing these interventions. View Full-Text
Keywords: food addiction; overeating; obesity; impulsivity; reward sensitivity; cognitive training; neuromodulation food addiction; overeating; obesity; impulsivity; reward sensitivity; cognitive training; neuromodulation
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MDPI and ACS Style

Adams, R.C.; Sedgmond, J.; Maizey, L.; Chambers, C.D.; Lawrence, N.S. Food Addiction: Implications for the Diagnosis and Treatment of Overeating. Nutrients 2019, 11, 2086. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11092086

AMA Style

Adams RC, Sedgmond J, Maizey L, Chambers CD, Lawrence NS. Food Addiction: Implications for the Diagnosis and Treatment of Overeating. Nutrients. 2019; 11(9):2086. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11092086

Chicago/Turabian Style

Adams, Rachel C.; Sedgmond, Jemma; Maizey, Leah; Chambers, Christopher D.; Lawrence, Natalia S. 2019. "Food Addiction: Implications for the Diagnosis and Treatment of Overeating" Nutrients 11, no. 9: 2086. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11092086

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