Animal models of binge-eating palatable foods: Emergence of addiction-like behaviors and brain changes in the rat

Miriam E. Bocarsly, Nicole M. Avena

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Binge eating is a behavioral component of some eating disorders, and it is also noted in overweight and obese as well as nonclinical populations. Given its increasing prevalence in society, understanding the behavioral, physiological, and neurochemical components of binge eating is important. Both sugars and fats have been identified as common macronutrients consumed by humans during binge-eating episodes and are thus of interest to study. This chapter describes animal models of sugar and fat bingeing as well as the combination of sugar and fat, which allow for a detailed analysis of these behaviors and their concomitant physiological effects. These particular models of binge eating have been shown to elicit behavioral and neurochemical signs of drug-like dependence in rats, including indices of opiate-like withdrawal, increased intake after abstinence, cross-sensitization with drugs of abuse, and the repeated release of dopamine in the nucleus accumbens following repeated bingeing. These findings support the hypothesis that some palatable foods may have addiction potential when they are consumed in excess.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNeuromethods
PublisherHumana Press Inc.
Pages173-185
Number of pages13
DOIs
StatePublished - 2021

Publication series

NameNeuromethods
Volume161
ISSN (Print)0893-2336
ISSN (Electronic)1940-6045

Keywords

  • Binge eating
  • Dopamine
  • Food addiction
  • Nucleus accumbens
  • Rat
  • Sugar

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