Certain foods — “hyperpalatable foods” — particularly processed foods that are high in sugar, salt and fat can be addictive, say scientists. Some scientists have suggest that the proliferation of such foods have fostered food addictions and may partially explain unprecedented rates of obesity and metabolic disease. Food addiction is still a controversial concept in the scientific community. But researchers find strong evidence that certain foods can trigger binging, craving and withdrawal, responses that are similar to those produced by addictive substances like alcohol, cocaine and tobacco.
Here, Dr. Lustig shares his perspectives and resources on the subject of food addiction.
- Food and Addiction: A Comprehensive Handbook by
- Food Junkies: The Truth About Food Addiction, by Vera Tarman
- Why Diets Fail by Nicole Avena
- An introduction to Food Addiction by Joan Ifland, PhD and Theresa Wright, MS RD
Originally published in the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (Dietetic Practice Group, Behavioral Health Nutrition)
- Food Addiction 2.0 (audio recording) at the Commonwealth Club (with Michael Prager, Nicole Avena, Robert H. Lustig, Eric Stice,
Vera Ingrid Tarman, Elissa Epel, & Ashley Gearhardt)
- Food Addiction: What it is and what you can do about it
Want to understand the fundamentals of addiction in our society?
Then read Dr. Lustig’s book The Hacking of the American Mind.
Here is a half-hour interview of Dr. Lustig about his book and the key topics in it.