Food addiction, binge eating, and the role of dietary restraint: Converging evidence from animal and human studies

David A. Wiss, Nicole M. Avena

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

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

With emerging evidence of a biological basis to binge eating, questions about the role of food addiction (FA) have stimulated scholarly debate. A major criticism of the FA construct is its failure to account for dietary restraint and weight suppression, known contributors to binge eating. In this chapter, we examine animal and human models of addiction-like eating in the context of binge eating. Overlapping mechanisms such as reward dysfunction, craving, impulsivity, and attentional bias from animal and human studies are discussed. Directionality of the binge eating cascade is explored across different theoretical models with empirical support for multiple pathways. We offer a “Diet Drives the Binge” theory of food addiction, and a “Food Environment Drives Addiction” theory of binge eating. While FA research highlights the neurobiological vulnerability of certain people, there is less consensus about effective interventions at the individual level. We discuss current controversies surrounding FA and important findings that may have public health implications.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBinge Eating
Subtitle of host publicationA Transdiagnostic Psychopathology
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Pages193-209
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9783030435622
ISBN (Print)9783030435615
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2020

Keywords

  • Binge-eating disorder
  • Bulimia nervosa
  • Dietary restraint
  • Eating disorders
  • Food addiction
  • Neuroimaging
  • Obesity
  • Preclinical
  • Substance use disorders
  • Sugar

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