Monday, March 26, 2012

Recent Media Appearances

Men's Health interviewed and quoted me in an article titled "Reprogram Your Metabolism", written by Lou Schuler.  Part of the article was related to the food reward concept.  I'm glad to see the idea gradually reaching the mainstream. 

Boing Boing recently covered an article by Dr. Hisham Ziauddeen and colleagues in Nature Reviews Neuroscience that questioned the idea that common obesity represents food addiction-- an idea that I often encounter in my reading.  Maggie Koerth-Baker asked me if I wanted to respond.  I sent her a response explaining that I agree with the authors' conclusions and I also doubt obesity is food addiction per se, as I have explained in the past, although a subset of obese people can be addicted to food.  I explained that the conclusions of the paper are consistent with the idea that food reward influences fat mass.  You can find my explanation here.


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Deirdre said...

I understand your perspective on food addiction in adults, but what about kids? We are dealing with a new trend of obesity in children called "extreme childhood obesity" - which is basically morbid obesity in kids barely into adolescence. This condition didn't exist 15 years ago (other than genetic conditions and anomalies) - but is now its own classification.

Research into the eating behaviors and attitudes of these children describe addiction. Could it be possible that what we're seeing is some sort of epigenetic change in the "wiring" of their brains? Do you think that frequent intrauterine exposure to hyper-palatable foods (through the maternal diet) can alter D2 development and/or function as part of metabolic programming?

Stephan Guyenet said...

Hi Deirdre,

It's possible that some of these things may be able to pass from generation to generation-- there is some support for that in the animal literature. But the food environment of children has also changed. They have more ready access to highly palatable between-meal snacks and sweetened beverages.

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Puddleg said...

What is the difference between high satiety and low palatability?

I will give a Food Reward to anyone who can measure it.

I wouldn't write off addiction so soon. Go back to Richard Mackarness "Not All in the Mind" for examples of success with strategies aimed at eliminating "allergens" from the diet. Mackarness evolved from his earlier advocacy of a simple, Taubesian low-carb diet (in "Eat Fat to Grow Slim") to an awareness that one side-effect of food intolerance was often weight gain and carbohydrate intolerance, and that identifying "toxic food" triggers in individuals through elimination diets was the key to helping his more challenging cases.

Those who don't research the past are often condemned to repeat it...