Food Addiction for 1 in 200 people?

Food addiction could be responsible for the rising number of people suffering from obesity and eating disorders.

Scientists say as many as one in 200 people could be suffering from the condition – and for many their over-eating is caused by behavioural addiction.

This may change the way psychiatrists view addiction and in the future see food abuse become a diagnosable condition.

A small percentage of people with binge-eating disorders may fit most of the criteria for addiction. Currently these patterns of eating are categorised as ‘impulse control disorders’ rather than addictions.

This is set to change with publication of the latest version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder (DSM V), which lays out diagnosis rules for mental illness.

Experts are now discussing whether compulsive eating can be classified as a behavioural addiction, with an EU research project called NeuroFAST beginning to examine the evidence, bringing together scientists from seven European countries.