‘Globesity’ is a descriptive term for the obesity epidemic now facing the U.S. and indeed, the world. Hyperphagia (i.e. overeating) can lead to metabolic syndrome which in turn can lead to Type 2 diabetes mellitus, heart disease, stroke and some cancers. The World Health Organization even states that more people die each year from the consequences of obesity than from hunger. Something must be done to stem the tsunami of obesity and its resultant medical complications. Our work and that of others suggests that new obesity treatments and anti-obesity medications should be based on those already successful in treating other addictions. This paper looks at empirical evidence linking addictions to food and to drugs such as tobacco, alcohol, cannabis, amphetamines, and cocaine. Hypotheses are put forth as to why hyperphagia is so difficult to treat. Additionally, prenatal programming for addiction is explored. Lessons from successful drug treatment are elucidated and potential pharmaceutical targets for hyperphagia and obesity are suggested.
Keywords: Hyperphagia, metabolic syndrome, Type 2 diabetes mellitus, withdrawal, dopamine, reward pathways, Globesity, pandemic, anorexia, hyperlipidemia, orexin, leptin, deprivation, Dexfenfluramine, fluoxetine, phenylpropanolamine, naltrexone, detoxification, neurobiological
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