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Anti Addiction Medicines Could Be Used To Treat The Obesity Related To Food Addiction

3087 words - 12 pages

Obesity, associated with some serious health problems, including diabetes, heart disease and certain types of cancer, has become a serious problem in the USA, and over one-third of American adults are obese (Makowski, 2011, p. 489). However, there are few available and effective drugs to treat obesity. In fact, the last obesity drug approved in the United States was Xenical® in 1999, which is little used but the only medicine for long-term obesity treatments (Pollack, 2011, February 1). Currently, there is some evidence shown the link between obesity and addiction. Thus, some anti-addiction medicines, for instance, bupropion and naltrexone, have been proposed and investigated to treat obesity (Orexigen Therapeutics, Inc., 2013, February 8). Because of the relationship between obesity and food addiction, the similarities of food addiction and drug addiction, and the effectiveness of bupropion and naltrexone in weight losing of some type of obesity, anti-addiction drug could be promising in treating the obesity caused by food addiction.
Clear definitions and assessments of food addiction and obesity are necessary before the analysis. Food addiction is defined as “a chronic relapsing problem caused by various fundamental factors that encourage craving for” food or food additives to “obtain a state of heightened pleasure, energy, or excitement” (Tartar, Ammerman & Ott, 1998; Gold & Sternbach, 1984, as cited in Liu et al., 2013, p. 134). At present, the Yale Food Addiction Scale (YFAS), which is a survey of 27 items related to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders IV criteria (DSM-IV; Gearhardt et al., 2009, as cited in Clark & Saules, 2013), is the most widely used measure for examining food addiction. As for the definition of obesity, according to Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (2012, April 27), an adult is considered obese with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher, which is determined by weight and height. This definition suggests that weight losing is an important stage of treating obesity.
After defining food addiction and obesity, the relationship between them can be discussed. A fast-growing perspective is that food addiction can cause overeating thus lead to obesity. Some recent experiments become strong supports for the addiction view of obesity. A study conducted on 652 adults from the general population illustrates that clinical symptoms of food addiction show a positive correlation with body composition measurements, and obesity measurements were significantly higher in food addicts than normal people (Pedram et al., 2013). The scientific study provides evidence that there is a causal relationship between food addiction and obesity. Also, some other scientists share the same conclusion that food addiction may lead to a high prevalence of obesity (Wilson, 2010; Corsica & Pelchat, 2010; Volkow & O’Brien, 2007, as cited in de Jong et al., 2012). According to Avena (2010, p. 734), food addiction can cause...

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