Can food be addictive? Public health and policy implications
Article first published online: 14 FEB 2011
© 2011 The Authors, Addiction © 2011 Society for the Study of Addiction
Volume 106, Issue 7, pages 1208–1212, July 2011
How to Cite
Gearhardt, A. N., Grilo, C. M., DiLeone, R. J., Brownell, K. D. and Potenza, M. N. (2011), Can food be addictive? Public health and policy implications. Addiction, 106: 1208–1212. doi: 10.1111/j.1360-0443.2010.03301.x
- Issue published online: 3 JUN 2011
- Article first published online: 14 FEB 2011
- Submitted 26 August 2010; initial review completed 28 September 2010; final version accepted 9 November 2010
- public health
Aims Data suggest that hyperpalatable foods may be capable of triggering an addictive process. Although the addictive potential of foods continues to be debated, important lessons learned in reducing the health and economic consequences of drug addiction may be especially useful in combating food-related problems.
Methods In the current paper, we review the potential application of policy and public health approaches that have been effective in reducing the impact of addictive substances to food-related problems.
Results Corporate responsibility, public health approaches, environmental change and global efforts all warrant strong consideration in reducing obesity and diet-related disease.
Conclusions Although there exist important differences between foods and addictive drugs, ignoring analogous neural and behavioral effects of foods and drugs of abuse may result in increased food-related disease and associated social and economic burdens. Public health interventions that have been effective in reducing the impact of addictive drugs may have a role in targeting obesity and related diseases.