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Systematic Review

Current Intervention Treatments for Food Addiction: A Systematic Review

1
School of Health Sciences, College of Medicine, Health and Wellbeing, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, NSW 2308, Australia
2
Priority Research Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, NSW 2308, Australia
3
School of Psychological Sciences and Turner Institute for Brain and Mental Health, Monash University, Clayton, VIC 3800, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Amanda Sainsbury-Salis
Behav. Sci. 2021, 11(6), 80; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs11060080
Received: 31 March 2021 / Revised: 11 May 2021 / Accepted: 12 May 2021 / Published: 23 May 2021
(This article belongs to the Section Psychiatric, Emotional and Behavioral Disorders)
Research on the concept of food addiction (FA) has steadily grown and, based on a widely used self-report, FA is estimated to affect between 16–20% of the adult population. However, there are few interventions available for people with self-reported FA, and their efficacy is unclear. The primary aim of the review was to examine the efficacy of different interventions, including behavioural/lifestyle, medication and surgical approaches, for reducing symptoms and/or changing diagnosis of FA among adolescents and adults. A secondary aim was to examine the influence of sex as a moderator of intervention effects. A systematic search was performed from 2008–2020 to identify studies that used the YFAS to assess the effectiveness of interventions on FA. Nine studies were identified (n = 7 adults, n = 2 adolescents) including a total of 812 participants (range 22–256) with an average of 69% females per study. The types of interventions included medications (n = 3), lifestyle modification (n = 3), surgical (n = 2) and behavioural (n = 1), with FA being assessed as a secondary outcome in all studies. Five studies in adults reported a significant reduction in FA symptoms or diagnosis from pre to post-intervention, two when compared to a control group and three in the intervention group only. Efficacious interventions included: medication (combination of naltrexone and bupropion, as well as pexacerfont), bariatric surgery and lifestyle modification. No significant changes in FA were reported in adolescent studies. Given few studies were identified by the review, there is insufficient evidence to provide clear recommendations for practice; however, some interventions show potential for reducing self-reported FA outcomes in adults. Future research should explore the longer-term efficacy of interventions and the effectiveness of treatments with sufficient sample sizes. View Full-Text
Keywords: food addiction; YFAS; yale food addiction scale; eating addiction; intervention food addiction; YFAS; yale food addiction scale; eating addiction; intervention
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MDPI and ACS Style

Leary, M.; Pursey, K.M.; Verdejo-Garcia, A.; Burrows, T.L. Current Intervention Treatments for Food Addiction: A Systematic Review. Behav. Sci. 2021, 11, 80. https://doi.org/10.3390/bs11060080

AMA Style

Leary M, Pursey KM, Verdejo-Garcia A, Burrows TL. Current Intervention Treatments for Food Addiction: A Systematic Review. Behavioral Sciences. 2021; 11(6):80. https://doi.org/10.3390/bs11060080

Chicago/Turabian Style

Leary, Mark, Kirrilly M. Pursey, Antonio Verdejo-Garcia, and Tracy L. Burrows 2021. "Current Intervention Treatments for Food Addiction: A Systematic Review" Behavioral Sciences 11, no. 6: 80. https://doi.org/10.3390/bs11060080

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