Everyone knows that drugs can be addictive — they mimic or stimulate the production of brain chemicals that cause feelings of pleasure. So, is it a stretch to think that food might produce the same addictive effects?
The possibility of food addiction would certainly help explain why, despite so much attention to the obesity epidemic, many people fail to change their eating behavior. Many people describe their eating problems in the parlance of drug addiction, citing symptoms of craving or withdrawal with regard to food. But is there any science to support the food addiction theory?
New research offers growing support for the idea that excess food intake can be linked to addictive behaviors. Scientists have observed that certain behaviors associated with addiction, such as lack of success when attempts are made to reduce intake, or continued use regardless of negative fallout, is seen in troubled eating patterns.