Why is it so difficult to stop eating the chocolates even though we’re full? A popular idea is that certain foods like chocolate are addictive and that “food addiction” explains why so many people are overweight.
But does food really have the same effects on the mind and body as hard drugs? Or is food addiction simply a myth or an excuse for over-eating?
To answer these questions, I will talk about the latest scientific research on food and addiction with a particular focus on the role of psychology. I will consider the similarities but also the key differences between eating and substance use disorders.
Dr Charlotte Hardman is a lecturer in the Department of Psychological Sciences at the University of Liverpool. Her research examines the factors which influence appetite, eating and food preferences and she has worked in this area for more than 15 years, including designing and testing interventions to change eating behaviour. She has a PhD in Psychology and has published over 40 scientific papers in prestigious journals including Nature Reviews Endocrinology and the International Journal of Obesity.