Obesity has long been blamed on weak willpower, overeating, genetics and lack of exercise. Now scientists increasingly are seeing signs that suggest there may be an additional contributor: food addiction.
Monday night and again today, dozens of the nation’s leading researchers in obesity, nutrition and addiction planned to discuss whether food has addictive properties for some people. They’re gathering in New Haven, Conn., at a meeting sponsored by Yale University’s Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity.
“We believe that there is sufficient science to suggest there is something to this, so we are bringing the leading authorities together to decide whether food addiction is real and what the underlying psychology and biology might be,” says Kelly Brownell, director of the Rudd Center.
“It’s surprising that our field has overlooked this concept for so long,” he says. “Society blames obesity only on the people who have it and has been close-minded to other explanations.”
I’m increasingly open to the idea that some people have brain dysfunction similar to drug addiction that leads to food addiction.
However, this article seems to suggest that food addiction may be a cause of a growing obesity problem in the U.S. This strikes me as absurd. It would seem that some people may have a brain that produces food addiction but the rest of us just eat too much and exercise too little.