Food Addiction and Obesity Interview with:
Guang Sun MD, PhD
Professor, Discipline of medicine
Faculty of medicine, Memorial University Canada  What are the main findings of the study?

Dr. Sun: Plenty of anecdotal reports on how ‘Food Addiction’ may be a potential culprit of the rising prevalence of obesity. However to date no scientific study, based on a comprehensive criterion of the diagnosis of Food Addiction, has been performed at the population level. The main findings are in the following fours aspects:

1)         Food Addiction is indeed an important contributing factor in the development of obesity.
2)         The prevalence of Food Addition was 5.4% and increased concomitantly with
obesity status defined by either body mass index (BMI) or body fat percentage
(%BF). In another word, there is one food addict in every twenty adults (Newfoundland Province, Canada)
3)         Clinical Symptom Count(s) of Food Addiction is strongly associated with the severity of obesity.
4)         Women are twice as likely to be diagnosed with “Food Addiction” than men.  Were any of the findings unexpected?

Dr. Sun: The unexpected finding is that food addiction affects people who do not meet food addiction as well.  What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Dr. Sun: Obesity is a complex disease with multiple factors. Targeting ‘food addiction may lead to much better and sustained weight reduction result.  What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Dr. Sun: Looking for food addiction genes, neuropeptides and other food addiction related hormones.


Food addiction: Its prevalence and significant association with obesity in the general population

Pardis Pedram, Danny Wadden, Peyvand Amini, Wayne Gulliver, Edward Randell, Farrell Cahill, Sudesh Vasdev, Alan Goodridge, Jacqueline C. Carter, Guangju Zhai, Ji, Guang Sun
Published: Sep 04, 2013
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0074832


Last Updated on November 26, 2014 by Marie Benz MD FAAD