Binge eating disorder (BED) shares many characteristics with addictive behaviors (e.g., diminished control, continued use despite negative consequences), and a body of scientific literature is building to support addiction conceptualizations of problematic eating. Despite similarities, BED and “food addiction” may represent unique yet overlapping conditions. Although the exploration of food addiction is relatively new, understanding the relationship between food addiction and BED may be informative in understanding the mechanisms underlying the development and maintenance of problematic eating. In the following paper, we 1) examine the theoretical similarities and differences between BED and addiction, 2) review recent empirical evidence that speak to the relationship between BED and food addiction and 3) discuss the implications of associations between BED and food addiction with respect to clinical interventions.
Keywords: Food addiction, binge eating disorder, eating disorders, obesity, cognitive-behavioral therapy, restraint, diminished control, addiction, craving, substance dependence
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