Obesity and the brain: how convincing is the addiction model?


An increasingly influential perspective conceptualizes both obesity and overeating as a food addiction accompanied by corresponding brain changes. Because there are far-reaching implications for clinical practice and social policy if it becomes widely accepted, a critical evaluation of this model is important. We examine the current evidence for the link between addiction and obesity, identifying several fundamental shortcomings in the model, as well as weaknesses and inconsistencies in the empirical support for it from human neuroscientific research. © 2012 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.