Food addiction and it's potential links with weight stigma

Jessica Reid, Kerry Steven O'Brien, Rebecca M Puhl, Charlotte Hardman, Adrian Carter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


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.

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

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