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Special Issue "Food Addiction"

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A special issue of Nutrients (ISSN 2072-6643).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 July 2014)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Tracy Burrows

School of Health Sciences, Faculty of Health, University of Newcastle, Newcastle, NSW 2308, Australia
Interests: nutrition; obesity; paediatrics; diet assessment; validation; systematic review; food addiction

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The term, food addiction, is increasingly popular in published literature and highly topical in the mainstream media. Emerging evidence suggests that food addiction may be a previously unrecognized factor that contributes to the rise in obesity. Research suggests that similarities may exist between food addiction and other classic forms of dependence, such as those involving alcohol and drugs. This Special Issue will explore past and present research concerning food addiction.

Dr. Tracy Burrows
Guest Editor

Submission

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are refereed through a peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Nutrients is an international peer-reviewed Open Access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1500 CHF (Swiss Francs).

Keywords

  • food addiction
  • food cues
  • reward
  • obesity
  • food behavior
  • food intake and receipt
  • fMRI
  • binge eating

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Fructose:Glucose Ratios—A Study of Sugar Self-Administration and Associated Neural and Physiological Responses in the Rat
Nutrients 2015, 7(5), 3869-3890; doi:10.3390/nu7053869
Received: 20 April 2015 / Revised: 21 April 2015 / Accepted: 11 May 2015 / Published: 22 May 2015
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1029 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study explored whether different ratios of fructose (F) and glucose (G) in sugar can engender significant differences in self-administration and associated neurobiological and physiological responses in male Sprague-Dawley rats. In Experiment 1, animals self-administered pellets containing 55% F + 45% G [...] Read more.
This study explored whether different ratios of fructose (F) and glucose (G) in sugar can engender significant differences in self-administration and associated neurobiological and physiological responses in male Sprague-Dawley rats. In Experiment 1, animals self-administered pellets containing 55% F + 45% G or 30% F + 70% G, and Fos immunoreactivity was assessed in hypothalamic regions regulating food intake and reward. In Experiment 2, rats self-administered solutions of 55% F + 42% G (high fructose corn syrup (HFCS)), 50% F + 50% G (sucrose) or saccharin, and mRNA of the dopamine 2 (D2R) and mu-opioid (MOR) receptor genes were assessed in striatal regions involved in addictive behaviors. Finally, in Experiment 3, rats self-administered HFCS and sucrose in their home cages, and hepatic fatty acids were quantified. It was found that higher fructose ratios engendered lower self-administration, lower Fos expression in the lateral hypothalamus/arcuate nucleus, reduced D2R and increased MOR mRNA in the dorsal striatum and nucleus accumbens core, respectively, as well as elevated omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids in the liver. These data indicate that a higher ratio of fructose may enhance the reinforcing effects of sugar and possibly lead to neurobiological and physiological alterations associated with addictive and metabolic disorders. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Addiction)
Open AccessArticle Hormonal and Dietary Characteristics in Obese Human Subjects with and without Food Addiction
Nutrients 2015, 7(1), 223-238; doi:10.3390/nu7010223
Received: 1 August 2014 / Accepted: 19 December 2014 / Published: 31 December 2014
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (166 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The concept of food addiction (FA) is a potentially important contributing factor to the development of obesity in the general population; however, little is known about the hormonal and dietary differences between obesity with and without FA. Therefore, the aim of our [...] Read more.
The concept of food addiction (FA) is a potentially important contributing factor to the development of obesity in the general population; however, little is known about the hormonal and dietary differences between obesity with and without FA. Therefore, the aim of our study was to explore potential biomarkers, including various hormones and neuropeptides, which regulate appetite and metabolism, and dietary components that could potentially differentiate obesity with and without FA. Of the 737 adults recruited from the general Newfoundland population, 58 food-addicted and non-food-addicted overweight/obese individuals (FAO, NFO) matched for age, sex, BMI and physical activity were selected. A total of 34 neuropeptides, gut hormones, pituitary polypeptide hormones and adipokines were measured in fasting serum. We found that the FAO group had lower levels of TSH, TNF-α and amylin, but higher levels of prolactin, as compared to NFO group. The total calorie intake (per kg body weight), the dietary intake of fat (per g/kg body weight, per BMI and per percentage of trunk fat) and the percent calorie intake from fat and carbohydrates (g/kg) was higher in the FAO group compared to the NFO group. The FAO subjects consumed more sugar, minerals (including sodium, potassium, calcium and selenium), fat and its components (such as saturated, monounsaturated and trans fat), omega 3 and 6, vitamin D and gamma-tocopherol compared to the NFO group. To our knowledge, this is the first study indicating possible differences in hormonal levels and micro-nutrient intakes between obese individuals classified with and without food addiction. The findings provide insights into the mechanisms by which FA could contribute to obesity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Addiction)
Open AccessArticle Food Addiction and Its Impact on Weight-Based Stigma and the Treatment of Obese Individuals in the U.S. and Australia
Nutrients 2014, 6(11), 5312-5326; doi:10.3390/nu6115312
Received: 15 August 2014 / Revised: 2 October 2014 / Accepted: 9 October 2014 / Published: 21 November 2014
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (358 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
It is argued that food addiction explanations of obesity may reduce the significant stigma levelled at obese and overweight individuals. We surveyed 479 adults to determine the prevalence of food addiction in the U.S. (n = 215) and, for the first [...] Read more.
It is argued that food addiction explanations of obesity may reduce the significant stigma levelled at obese and overweight individuals. We surveyed 479 adults to determine the prevalence of food addiction in the U.S. (n = 215) and, for the first time, in Australia (n = 264) using the Yale Food Addiction Scale (YFAS). We also assessed the level of weight-based stigma in this population. The prevalence of food addiction in our Australian sample was 11%, similar to U.S. participants and consistent with previous studies. Those who met criteria for diagnosis had a larger mean BMI (33.8 kg/m2) than those who did not (26.5 kg/m2). Overall, the level of stigma towards others was low and differed significantly based on BMI, predominately among normal weight and obese participants (p = 0.0036). Obese individuals scored higher on certain measures of stigma, possibly reflecting individual experiences of stigma rather than negative attitudes towards other obese individuals (p = 0.0091). Despite significant support for a “food addiction” explanation of obesity, participants still valued personal responsibility in overcoming obesity and did not support coercive approaches to treat their “addiction”. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Addiction)
Open AccessArticle A Psycho-Genetic Study of Hedonic Responsiveness in Relation to “Food Addiction”
Nutrients 2014, 6(10), 4338-4353; doi:10.3390/nu6104338
Received: 18 August 2014 / Revised: 29 September 2014 / Accepted: 1 October 2014 / Published: 16 October 2014
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (163 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
While food addiction has no formally-recognized definition, it is typically operationalized according to the diagnostic principles established by the Yale Food Addiction Scale—an inventory based on the symptom criteria for substance dependence in the DSM-IV. Currently, there is little biologically-based research [...] Read more.
While food addiction has no formally-recognized definition, it is typically operationalized according to the diagnostic principles established by the Yale Food Addiction Scale—an inventory based on the symptom criteria for substance dependence in the DSM-IV. Currently, there is little biologically-based research investigating the risk factors for food addiction. What does exist has focused almost exclusively on dopaminergic reward pathways in the brain. While brain opioid signaling has also been strongly implicated in the control of food intake, there is no research examining this neural circuitry in the association with food addiction. The purpose of the study was therefore to test a model predicting that a stronger activation potential of opioid circuitry-as indicated by the functional A118G marker of the mu-opioid receptor gene-would serve as an indirect risk factor for food addiction via a heightened hedonic responsiveness to palatable food. Results confirmed these relationships. In addition, our findings that the food-addiction group had significantly higher levels of hedonic responsiveness to food suggests that this bio-behavioral trait may foster a proneness to overeating, to episodes of binge eating, and ultimately to a compulsive and addictive pattern of food intake. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Addiction)

Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessReview Food Addiction: An Evolving Nonlinear Science
Nutrients 2014, 6(11), 5370-5391; doi:10.3390/nu6115370
Received: 1 August 2014 / Revised: 12 September 2014 / Accepted: 13 October 2014 / Published: 21 November 2014
PDF Full-text (507 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The purpose of this review is to familiarize readers with the role that addiction plays in the formation and treatment of obesity, type 2 diabetes and disorders of eating. We will outline several useful models that integrate metabolism, addiction, and human relationship [...] Read more.
The purpose of this review is to familiarize readers with the role that addiction plays in the formation and treatment of obesity, type 2 diabetes and disorders of eating. We will outline several useful models that integrate metabolism, addiction, and human relationship adaptations to eating. A special effort will be made to demonstrate how the use of simple and straightforward nonlinear models can and are being used to improve our knowledge and treatment of patients suffering from nutritional pathology. Moving forward, the reader should be able to incorporate some of the findings in this review into their own practice, research, teaching efforts or other interests in the fields of nutrition, diabetes, and/or bariatric (weight) management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Addiction)
Open AccessReview Obesity: Pathophysiology and Intervention
Nutrients 2014, 6(11), 5153-5183; doi:10.3390/nu6115153
Received: 23 June 2014 / Revised: 21 July 2014 / Accepted: 29 October 2014 / Published: 18 November 2014
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (308 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Obesity presents a major health hazard of the 21st century. It promotes co-morbid diseases such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obstructive sleep apnea, certain types of cancer, and osteoarthritis. Excessive energy intake, physical inactivity, and genetic susceptibility are main causal factors [...] Read more.
Obesity presents a major health hazard of the 21st century. It promotes co-morbid diseases such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obstructive sleep apnea, certain types of cancer, and osteoarthritis. Excessive energy intake, physical inactivity, and genetic susceptibility are main causal factors for obesity, while gene mutations, endocrine disorders, medication, or psychiatric illnesses may be underlying causes in some cases. The development and maintenance of obesity may involve central pathophysiological mechanisms such as impaired brain circuit regulation and neuroendocrine hormone dysfunction. Dieting and physical exercise offer the mainstays of obesity treatment, and anti-obesity drugs may be taken in conjunction to reduce appetite or fat absorption. Bariatric surgeries may be performed in overtly obese patients to lessen stomach volume and nutrient absorption, and induce faster satiety. This review provides a summary of literature on the pathophysiological studies of obesity and discusses relevant therapeutic strategies for managing obesity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Addiction)
Open AccessReview Animal Models of Compulsive Eating Behavior
Nutrients 2014, 6(10), 4591-4609; doi:10.3390/nu6104591
Received: 22 August 2014 / Revised: 7 October 2014 / Accepted: 10 October 2014 / Published: 22 October 2014
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (395 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Eating disorders are multifactorial conditions that can involve a combination of genetic, metabolic, environmental, and behavioral factors. Studies in humans and laboratory animals show that eating can also be regulated by factors unrelated to metabolic control. Several studies suggest a link between [...] Read more.
Eating disorders are multifactorial conditions that can involve a combination of genetic, metabolic, environmental, and behavioral factors. Studies in humans and laboratory animals show that eating can also be regulated by factors unrelated to metabolic control. Several studies suggest a link between stress, access to highly palatable food, and eating disorders. Eating “comfort foods” in response to a negative emotional state, for example, suggests that some individuals overeat to self-medicate. Clinical data suggest that some individuals may develop addiction-like behaviors from consuming palatable foods. Based on this observation, “food addiction” has emerged as an area of intense scientific research. A growing body of evidence suggests that some aspects of food addiction, such as compulsive eating behavior, can be modeled in animals. Moreover, several areas of the brain, including various neurotransmitter systems, are involved in the reinforcement effects of both food and drugs, suggesting that natural and pharmacological stimuli activate similar neural systems. In addition, several recent studies have identified a putative connection between neural circuits activated in the seeking and intake of both palatable food and drugs. The development of well-characterized animal models will increase our understanding of the etiological factors of food addiction and will help identify the neural substrates involved in eating disorders such as compulsive overeating. Such models will facilitate the development and validation of targeted pharmacological therapies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Addiction)
Open AccessReview The Prevalence of Food Addiction as Assessed by the Yale Food Addiction Scale: A Systematic Review
Nutrients 2014, 6(10), 4552-4590; doi:10.3390/nu6104552
Received: 1 August 2014 / Revised: 11 August 2014 / Accepted: 9 October 2014 / Published: 21 October 2014
Cited by 26 | PDF Full-text (472 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Obesity is a global issue and it has been suggested that an addiction to certain foods could be a factor contributing to overeating and subsequent obesity. Only one tool, the Yale Food Addiction Scale (YFAS) has been developed to specifically assess food [...] Read more.
Obesity is a global issue and it has been suggested that an addiction to certain foods could be a factor contributing to overeating and subsequent obesity. Only one tool, the Yale Food Addiction Scale (YFAS) has been developed to specifically assess food addiction. This review aimed to determine the prevalence of food addiction diagnosis and symptom scores, as assessed by the YFAS. Published studies to July 2014 were included if they reported the YFAS diagnosis or symptom score and were published in the English language. Twenty-five studies were identified including a total of 196,211 predominantly female, overweight/obese participants (60%). Using meta-analysis, the weighted mean prevalence of YFAS food addiction diagnosis was 19.9%. Food addiction (FA) diagnosis was found to be higher in adults aged >35 years, females, and overweight/obese participants. Additionally, YFAS diagnosis and symptom score was higher in clinical samples compared to non-clinical counterparts. YFAS outcomes were related to a range of other eating behavior measures and anthropometrics. Further research is required to explore YFAS outcomes across a broader spectrum of ages, other types of eating disorders and in conjunction with weight loss interventions to confirm the efficacy of the tool to assess for the presence of FA. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Addiction)
Open AccessReview Food Addiction in the Light of DSM-5
Nutrients 2014, 6(9), 3653-3671; doi:10.3390/nu6093653
Received: 24 July 2014 / Revised: 21 August 2014 / Accepted: 25 August 2014 / Published: 16 September 2014
Cited by 18 | PDF Full-text (545 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The idea that specific kind of foods may have an addiction potential and that some forms of overeating may represent an addicted behavior has been discussed for decades. In recent years, the interest in food addiction is growing and research on this [...] Read more.
The idea that specific kind of foods may have an addiction potential and that some forms of overeating may represent an addicted behavior has been discussed for decades. In recent years, the interest in food addiction is growing and research on this topic lead to more precise definitions and assessment methods. For example, the Yale Food Addiction Scale has been developed for the measurement of addiction-like eating behavior based on the diagnostic criteria for substance dependence of the fourth revision of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV). In 2013, diagnostic criteria for substance abuse and—dependence were merged, thereby increasing the number of symptoms for substance use disorders (SUDs) in the DSM-5. Moreover, gambling disorder is now included along SUDs as a behavioral addiction. Although a plethora of review articles exist that discuss the applicability of the DSM-IV substance dependence criteria to eating behavior, the transferability of the newly added criteria to eating is unknown. Thus, the current article discusses if and how these new criteria may be translated to overeating. Furthermore, it is examined if the new SUD criteria will impact future research on food addiction, for example, if “diagnosing” food addiction should also be adapted by considering all of the new symptoms. Given the critical response to the revisions in DSM-5, we also discuss if the recent approach of Research Domain Criteria can be helpful in evaluating the concept of food addiction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Addiction)

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