Study Links Impulsivity to Food Addiction


impulsive eating counseling, houston, tx

For some people, struggles with food feel addictive. Research shows a common link between drug and food addiction. For certain people, this type of addiction may be linked to impulsivity, which researchers suggest might also be biologically based.




BUSM researchers measured the inability to withhold an impulsive response in experimental participants that were exposed to a diet high in sugar daily for one hour. Participants shown to be more impulsive rapidly developed binge eating, showing heightened cravings and the loss of control over the junk diet (measured as inability to properly evaluate the negative consequences associated with ingestion of the sugary diet). Conversely, participants shown to be less impulsive demonstrated the ability to appropriately control impulsive behavior and did not show abnormal eating behavior when exposed to the sugary diet.


Study authors also found that the “impulsive models showed increased expression of a transcription factor called Delta-FosB in the nucleus accumbens, an area of the brain involved in reward evaluation and impulsive behavior, indicating a potential biological component to this behavior.”


 If you struggle with compulsive eating, We can help.You don’t have to do this alone.

“Our results add further evidence to the idea that there are similar mechanisms involved in both drug and food addiction behavior,” said Clara Velazquez-Sanchez, PhD, postdoctoral fellow in the Laboratory of Addictive Disorder and first author of the study.


Their research also seems to suggest that it’s not diet alone that contributes to impulsive, addictive, binge eating or compulsive behavior. There’s more to it than just sugar. It’s also the brain behind the sugar.


If you or someone you know is struggling with Impulsivity to Food Addiction, help is available.We regularly offer a twelve-week program to help you make peace with food along with weekend workshops. Our therapists in Houston specialize in binge eating disorder and can help you or your loved one recover. To get started now give us a call to schedule an appointment at 832-559-2622 or schedule an appointment online. We look forward to help you!


To read the study summary visit: http://www.bumc.bu.edu/busm/2014/05/05/study-shows-that-impulsivity-is-risk-factor-for-food-addiction/

Rachel Eddins, M.Ed., LPC-S, CGP on Twitter
Rachel Eddins, M.Ed., LPC-S, CGP
Rachel’s passion is to help people discover their personal gifts and strengths to achieve self-acceptance, create a healthy relationship with food, mind and body, and find meaning and fulfillment in work and life roles. She helps people create nurturance and healing from within to restore balance and enoughness and overcome binge eating, emotional eating, anxiety, depression and lack of career fulfillment.

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