Food addiction and policy

Vincent A. Santiago, Stephanie E. Cassin, Sanjeev Sockalingam, Adrian Carter

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Otherpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Food addiction (FA) is an increasingly popular concept that certain highly processed foods are implicated in addictive-like eating, which may contribute to obesity. The prevalence of FA is estimated to be around 10–15% among adults and children, with elevated rates among those with underweight or obesity and/or binge eating problems. In this chapter, we discuss alternative perspectives to FA, reasons for and types of public health policies to regulate food, and support for policies among various stakeholders. We review five case studies of taxes on sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) around the world. We then describe the broad impact of food policies on product consumption and weight based on recent literature reviews. Lastly, we discuss future directions for the topic of FA and policy, such as continued evaluation of interventions, impact of policies on FA symptoms, the influence of sociodemographic factors, and research on treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Substance Misuse and Addictions
Subtitle of host publicationFrom Biology to Public Health
EditorsVinood B. Patel, Victor R. Preedy
Place of PublicationCham Switzerland
Number of pages23
ISBN (Electronic)9783030923921
ISBN (Print)9783030923914
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Addictive-like eating
  • Eating addiction
  • Eating disorder
  • Food
  • Food addiction
  • High-fat
  • High-sugar
  • Hyperpalatable
  • Obesity
  • Overweight
  • Policy
  • Regulation
  • Sugar-weetened beverage
  • Tax
  • Treatment

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