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Food Addiction 

Food Addiction
Chapter:
Food Addiction
Author(s):

Edison de Mello

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780190275334.003.0003
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date: 28 November 2020

Although an impressive and increasing amount of research has shown how particular foods affect brain chemistry and can lead to food addictions, the idea of food addiction as an actual disease is still controversial. The alarming growth in the obesity epidemic in the United States, however, is quickly eating away at this controversy. Research now shows that genetics, the nucleus accumbens, the gut bacteria (microbiota), and other physiological factors have a vast effect on obesity, cravings, binge eating, and food addiction. Speculation that the food industry has utilized the effects of the high glycemic index foods, such as refined starches, sugars, and fat have on the brain to engineer foods for taste, not nutrition and to get people “hooked” is also discussed. Integrative treatment approaches to food addiction that can synergically help with food addiction recovery are presented. These include biochemical restoration, IV nutrient therapy, meditation practices, pharmacological intervention, and more.

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