Food addiction and it's potential links with weight stigma

Jessica Reid, Kerry S. O’Brien, Rebecca Puhl, Charlotte A. Hardman, Adrian Carter

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose of Review: Weight stigma and discrimination are significant issues facing people who are overweight. There is growing acceptance that obesity is caused by a neurobiologically driven addiction to some foods. This review examines the evidence that obesity is due to a food addiction and the impact that this may have on attitudes towards excess weight. Recent Findings: There is limited evidence that food addiction explanations may reduce external stigma and self-blame. However, these positives may come at the expense of adverse impacts on overweight person’s self-efficacy and eating. The “addict” label may also further exacerbate weight stigma. Summary: Current research on the impact of food addiction explanations on stigma is scarce and inconsistent. There is almost no research examining the clinical impact of food addiction on self-efficacy, eating, or treatment seeking. More research clarifying these issues is essential given the growing acceptance of “food addiction” explanations in society.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)192-201
Number of pages10
JournalCurrent Addiction Reports
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2018


  • Discrimination
  • Food addiction
  • Obesity
  • Self-efficacy
  • Stigma
  • Weight bias

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