Washington: A new study has revealed people can become addicted to eating for its own sake but not to consuming specific foods such as those high in sugar or fat .
An international team of scientists has found no strong evidence for people being addicted to the chemical substances in certain foods and found that the brain does not respond to nutrients in the same way as it does to addictive drugs such as heroin or cocaine.
According to the researchers, people can develop a psychological compulsion to eat, driven by the positive feelings that the brain associates with eating and it's a behavioural disorder, which could be categorised alongside conditions such as gambling addiction.
The study found that that the focus on tackling the problem of obesity should be moved from food itself towards the individual's relationship with eating and the current classification of mental disorders, which does not permit a formal diagnosis of eating addiction, could be redrawn. However, more research would be needed to define a diagnosis.
The study was published in Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews.