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Current Addiction Reports

, Volume 4, Issue 2, pp 142–150 | Cite as

Nutritional Aspects of Food Addiction

  • Kirrilly M. Pursey
  • Caroline Davis
  • Tracy L. Burrows
Food Addiction (A Meule, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Food Addiction

Abstract

Purpose of Review

Behavioural and neurobiological similarities have been identified between the consumption of certain foods and addiction-related disorders. However, few studies have investigated what components of food may promote an addictive-like response in humans. This review evaluates recent research concerning the nutritional aspects of addictive-like eating.

Recent Findings

Based on the current evidence base, highly processed, hyper-palatable foods with combinations of fat and sugar appear most likely to facilitate an addictive-like response. Total fat content and glycaemic index also appear to be important factors in the addictive potential of foods. Despite public interest and evidence from animal studies, few studies have reported an association between sugar and addictive-like eating.

Summary

Due to the paucity of studies, it is difficult to conclusively identify a specific food or ingredient as capable of triggering an addictive-like response in humans. Future studies using validated dietary assessment tools are essential and may inform the development of novel strategies to treat maladaptive eating behaviours.

Keywords

Food addiction Nutrition Diet Eating behaviour Substance-related disorder Behavioural addiction 

Notes

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Dr. Kirrilly M. Pursey, Professor Caroline Davis and Associate Professor Tracy L. Burrows declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.

References

Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kirrilly M. Pursey
    • 1
    • 2
  • Caroline Davis
    • 3
  • Tracy L. Burrows
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Health Sciences, Faculty of Health and MedicineUniversity of NewcastleCallaghanAustralia
  2. 2.Priority Research Centre in Physical Activity and NutritionUniversity of NewcastleCallaghanAustralia
  3. 3.School of Kinesiology and Health SciencesYork UniversityTorontoCanada

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