Expert argues how food may be addictive like drugs

The Time “Healthland” blog reports that Nora Volkow, MD, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, has argued that there are similarities between overeating and drug addiction, and that examining those similarities could help to better understand all types of compulsive behavior.

Although not all health professionals agree that food is an addictive substance in the way that a drug is, some experts, such as Volkow, contend that there are “common dysfunctions in the areas of the brain involved in pleasure and self-control that are seen in both food and drug addictions.

These systems rely on the neurotransmitter dopamine; in both drug addictions and obesity, reductions in the number of dopamine D2 receptors are common.”

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