Is there a psychological or biological cause for food addiction?

Medically Reviewed by Checkmark Medically Reviewed By: Sheela Krishnaswamy

Yes. According to the Food Addiction Institute, food addiction can have both biological and psychological causes. Anyone who suffers from food addiction develops a chemical dependency on certain foods, especially those that are high in sugar, fat and salt. They further state even genetics and psychological issues can play some role in food addiction. The psychological reasons for the addiction can be because of not dealing well with emotional issues or using food as a coping mechanism.

It is stated that a malfunction in the brain’s reward circuitry is the reason for food addiction. It can be categorised as the need to over-consume certain food in spite of negative effects (over-eating). It is similar to habits of bingeing and purging (bulimia).

The findings of research that studied food addiction among men and women in India suggest that “Symptoms of food addiction are associated with more frequent binge eating and eating-disorder psychopathology, as well as poorer health-related quality of life, and depression. It has also been suggested that urbanisation and socioeconomic status are associated with an increased risk of weight dissatisfaction and dieting in India.

On an average, the food addiction group reported lower health-related quality of life, including physical and mental health, however, both groups were within the normal range. These findings confirm the relatively higher experience of food addiction among Indians.”

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Disclaimer
Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can further read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

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