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Open AccessArticle

Health Professionals’ and Health Professional Trainees’ Views on Addictive Eating Behaviours: A Cross-Sectional Survey

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Priority Research Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, NSW 2308, Australia
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School of Health Sciences, Faculty of Health and Medicine, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, NSW 2308, Australia
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Turner Institute for Brain and Mental Health, Monash University, Clayton, VIC 3800, Australia
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Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, University of Melbourne, Parkville, VIC 3052, Australia
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Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute and Department of Physiology, Monash University, Clayton, VIC 3800, Australia
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School of Biomedical Sciences & Pharmacy, Faculty of Health and Medicine, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, NSW 2308, Australia
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Hunter Medical Research Institute (HMRI), New Lambton Heights, NSW 2305, Australia
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Department of Psychology, Institute of Population Health, University of Liverpool, Liverpool L69 7ZA, UK
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School of Applied Psychology, Griffith University, Brisbane, QLD 4122, Australia
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Centre for Youth Substance Abuse Research, University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD 4072, Australia
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Department of Medicine (Austin), University of Melbourne, Heidelberg, VIC 3084, Australia
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Department of Endocrinology, Austin Health, Heidelberg Heights, VIC 3081, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2020, 12(9), 2860; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12092860
Received: 13 August 2020 / Revised: 8 September 2020 / Accepted: 17 September 2020 / Published: 18 September 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Clinical Utility of Food Addiction and Eating Addiction)
Despite increasing research on the concept of addictive eating, there is currently no published evidence on the views of health professionals who potentially consult with patients presenting with addictive eating behaviours, or of students training to become health professionals. This study aimed to explore the views and understanding of addictive eating behaviours among health professionals and health professionals in training and to identify potential gaps in professional development training. An international online cross-sectional survey was conducted in February–April 2020. The survey (70 questions, 6 key areas) assessed participants’ opinions and clinical experience of addictive eating; opinions on control, responsibility, and stigma relating to addictive eating; and knowledge of addictive eating and opinions on professional development training. In total, 142 health professionals and 33 health professionals in training completed the survey (mean age 38.1 ± 12.5 years, 65% from Australia/16% from the U.K.) Of the health professionals, 47% were dietitians and 16% were psychologists. Most participants (n = 126, 72%) reported that they have been asked by individuals about addictive eating. Half of the participants reported that they consider the term food addiction to be stigmatising for individuals (n = 88). Sixty percent (n = 105) reported that they were interested/very interested in receiving addictive eating training, with the top two preferred formats being online and self-paced, and face-to-face. These results demonstrate that addictive eating is supported by health professionals as they consult with patients presenting with this behaviour, which supports the views of the general community and demonstrates a need for health professional training. View Full-Text
Keywords: addictive eating; food addiction; health professional; clinician addictive eating; food addiction; health professional; clinician
MDPI and ACS Style

Burrows, T.; Verdejo-Garcia, A.; Carter, A.; Brown, R.M.; Andrews, Z.B.; Dayas, C.V.; Hardman, C.A.; Loxton, N.; Sumithran, P.; Whatnall, M. Health Professionals’ and Health Professional Trainees’ Views on Addictive Eating Behaviours: A Cross-Sectional Survey. Nutrients 2020, 12, 2860.

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