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Food Addiction & Obesity

Overview

What you need to know about Food Addiction:

  • Obesity Rates: More than a third of Americans weigh in as obese and a further third weigh in as overweight. Obesity rates are greater than they have ever been before.
  • Food Addiction Looks Like Drug Addiction in the Brain: MRI scans show that people addicted to food display brain changes that look very similar to the brain changes seen in drug addicted people. These brain changes help to explain how some people can lose control over their ability to regulate food consumption.
  • Social Implications of Food Addiction: If researchers can demonstrate the existence of food addiction legislators may need to consider greater regulation of some of the foods that are known to be most addictive in nature – particularly of marketing practices which encourage children to consume such products.
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The Neural Model for Food Addiction

NIDA researchers explain food addiction by showing how overeating can lead to changes in the dopamine pathways of the brain, and showing how these changes alter our ability to regulate impulses to eat

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