Neurobiology of Binge Eating Disorder – A Synopsis
Food cravings and food addiction are an important component of obesity; however, the idea that food addiction is a behavioural model in obesity is hotly debated. In the context of binge eating behaviours, it is suggested that these behaviours are similar to those observed in patients that experience drug addiction. [Ziauddeen H et al., 2012]
Palatable and energy-dense food and fluids are instead considered the chosen drugs of abuse, which when consumed, activate reward pathways that reinforce a behavioural phenotype.
This phenomenon is akin to substance abuse and is relevant not only to patients with obesity but also to those with binge-eating disorder (BED) or bulimia nervosa.