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Food is essential for life, so how can you have food addiction?. NZ Food Addiction Symposium Christchurch, 6 September 2013 Prof Doug Sellman National Addiction Centre University of Otago, Christchurch. Acknowledgements. Ria Schroder Daryle Deering Jane Elmslie Frances Carter Jim Mann

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food is essential for life so how can you have food addiction
Food is essential for life, so how can you have food addiction?

NZ Food Addiction Symposium

Christchurch, 6 September 2013

Prof Doug Sellman

National Addiction Centre

University of Otago, Christchurch

acknowledgements
Acknowledgements

Ria Schroder

Daryle Deering

Jane Elmslie

Frances Carter

Jim Mann

David Schroeder

25 fellow travellers

slide3

Journey out of skepticism

  • My own experience of weight loss
  • The stories of 25 fellow travellers
  • Growing scientific evidence for “food addiction”
slide4

Public attitudes about addiction as a cause of obesity

Colleen Barry (2012)

  • Large random sample of news articles in the US about childhood obesity 2000 – 2009
  • 53% of the news stories identified individual behaviour (parent and/or child) as a cause
  • Only 1% mentioned food addiction as a possible cause 
slide5

From the front lines

Philip Werdell (2012)

  • Has worked with over 4000 “late-stage food addicts” since 1986
  • Recently developed the Food Addiction Institute in Sarasota, Florida
  • “[In my experience] most doctors, dieticians and therapists discount or minimize chemical dependency on food”
can an obese compulsive overeater get treatment in nz
Can an obese compulsive overeater get treatment in NZ?
  • Survey of:

21 addiction services

20 eating disorder services

  • July/August 2012
  • Services rung by a fake inquirer

– a sister of a person who has a weight problem

  • Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch

Whangarei to Dunedin, Greymouth to Gisborne

slide7
Hullo, my name is Natalie Smith and I'm

ringing up on behalf of my sister Shiree.

The problem is that Shiree is about 110kg in weight

…and seems to have an addiction to food. She doesn't have any other addictions as far as I know

…and seems to have an eating disorder. She doesn't binge or purge as far as I know and has never been anorexic.

She just compulsively eats food.

I really want to find out what help your service can give her or where to go for help.

addiction service findings
Addiction Service Findings
  • 4 of the 21 services not surveyed
  • Of the 17 services surveyed:

- 2 said yes, come for an assessment (12%)

- 6 declared it was an eating disorder (35%)

- 7 advised Overeaters Anonymous (41%)

- 10 advised GP consultation (59%)

not us
Not us

- “We don’t deal with eating disorders, first place to go is to your GP who will refer you on to an appropriate service like a dietitian and an exercise regime”

- “It’s really an eating disorder so you’ll need to go to your GP and get a list of people who deal with eating disorders or get a referral for counselling”

come for an assessment
Come for an assessment

- “Food addiction is similar to other addictions so it would be appropriate to come in for an assessment” (large city)

- “Not a normal focus for us but as it is an addiction there is no reason we couldn’t work with her” (small city)

eating disorder service findings
Eating Disorder Service Findings
  • 3 of the 20 services not surveyed
  • Of the 17 services surveyed:

- 1 said yes, come for an assessment (6%)

- 0 declared it was a food addiction (0%)

- 4 advised Overeaters Anonymous (24%)

- 12 advised GP consultation (71%)

come for an assessment1
Come for an assessment

- “We’re happy to help with overeating as well as undereating, just come in for an assessment” (small city)

not us1
Not us

- “You will be horrified to hear this, but as an eating disorder service we only treat people with undereating problems”

  • “Obesity is not considered an eating disorder and therefore we are not funded to work in that area”
  • “Overeating is an eating disorder but its not in the DSMIV… there’s a possibility in the new DSM so we may be able to cater for it then”
  • “We could see her if she had underlying psychological issues”
main points from both surveys
Main points from both surveys
  • Less than 10% of either addiction or eating disorder services said yes to an assessment (of a morbidly obese person with out-of-control overeating)
  • 28% advised OA
  • 55% advised a GP consultation
slide15
BMI

< 18.5 underweight

18.5 – 24 normal weight

25 – 29 overweight

30 – 34 obese

35 – 39 clinically obese

> 40 morbidly obese

slide16
Percentage of overweight people

in the Anglosphere

United States 74%

New Zealand 68%

Australia 67%

United Kingdom 63%

Canada 61%

Ireland 47%

five strategies
Five Strategies

Take Control

Get Active

Eat Well

Persist

Enjoy Life

adult obesity in nz
Adult Obesity in NZ

2008/09 Adult Nutrition Survey

  • 28% of people 15+ years were obese
  • 45% of Maori
  • 58% of Pacific
  • Increase in males from 17% in 1997 to 28% in 2008/09
  • Increase in females from 21% in 1997 to 28% in 2008/09
slide23

Nestle

Aero Singles

“In the event of a chocolate craving, please take care of your craving first before helping others with theirs.

Remove bar. Bite to release bubbles. Enjoy normally.

Be prepared! Ensure Aero Singles are stowed in close proximity”

slide24

Food Addiction: A Personal Story

Anne Rosenberg (2012)

Am I really and truly a “food addict?”

I am not a scientist and I am not too concerned with the exact label.

But I do know I could not eat just one of those Nestle Aero Singles. And I am not alone. Nestle is banking on that!

slide25

What is addiction?

  • From the Latin addictus - devotion/attachment
  • Outdated term of the 1950’s and 1960’s, replaced by “dependence” in the 1970’s
  • Currently undergoing a revival - good for destigmatisation
slide26

Theodosius Dobzhansky, 1973 (1900 - 1975)

“Nothing in biologymakes sense,

Except in the light of evolution”

slide27

Charles Darwin1809 -1882

“I have called this principle, by whicheach slight variation, if useful, is preserved, by the term Natural Selection.”

   (from ‘The Origin of Species’)

slide28

Approximate Time Estimates

  • 13.8 billion years ago – The Universe began
  • 4.5 billion years ago – Earth began
  • 3.5 billion years ago – Life on Earth began
  • 2.5 billion years ago – Photosynthesis began
  • 0.6 billion years ago – Adequate ozone layer
  • 0.5 billion years ago – Abundant complex life
slide29

ERA PERIOD EPOCH

Cenozoic Quaternary Holocene

(65 million - present) (10,000 - present)

Pleistocene

(1.8 million – 10,000)

Tertiary Pliocene

Miocene

Oligocene

Eocene

Paleocene

Mesozoic Cretaceous

(248 - 65 million) Jurassic

Triassic

Paleozoic Permian

(544 - 248 million) Carboniferous

Devonian

Silurian

Ordovician

Cambrian

what is drug addiction george koob 1947 present
What is drug addiction?George Koob (1947 - present)

A chronic relapsing disorder characterised by:

Compulsion to seek and take the drug

Loss of control in limiting intake

Emergence of a negative emotional state (dysphoria, anxiety, irritability)

slide33

Inhibitory

Dysfunction

Reward

Overdrive

Drug Drug

Use Craving

slide35
In non-hungry, non-thirsty rats, sweetened water is more rewarding than intravenous cocaine, independent of prior cocaine history

Most heroin dependent rats eventually cut down heroin use to drink more sweet water

Ahmed (2012)

interaction between normal regulation of food intake and reward pathway
Interaction between normal regulation of food intake and reward pathway
  • The major anorexigenic hormones – leptin, insulin, PYY (incentive modulation) - plus the single orexigenic hormone, ghrelin, act on VTA dopaminergic system as do “drugs of abuse” (Mason et al 2012)
  • Many neuropeptides that regulate food intake and body weight including proappetitive peptides orexin, ghrelin and neuropeptide Y, as well as appetite suppressing hormones - leptin and melanocortin – also shown to regulate addictive behaviours (Dagher 2012)
mouse on the left unable to produce leptin becomes obese

Ghrelin

Orexin

Neuropeptide Y (NPY)

Mouse (on the left) unable to produce leptin becomes obese

Melanocortin

Leptin

Peptide YY (PYY)

Insulin

slide38
The increasing prevalence and impact of obesity in our society and the urgent need to develop better therapeutic interventions that help mitigate the pathologically intense drive for food consumption are clear.
  • We have an opportunity in DSM-V to recognize a component of obesity as a mental disorder.

(Volkow & O’Brien, AJP 2007)

slide39

Alcohol addiction

Food addiction

slide41

Diagnosis of food addiction based on

DSM-IV SUBSTANCE DEPENDENCE

1. Consumption is often more than intended (quantity or time)

2. Unsuccessful attempts to cut down or control consumption

3. Much time is spent in consumption (time +++)

4. Important activities given up or reduced

5. Continued consumption despite knowledge of associated medical or psychological problems

6. Tolerance (acquired)

7. Withdrawal

how many people with obesity have food addiction according to the yale food addiction scale yfas
How many people with obesity have “food addiction” according to the Yale Food Addiction Scale (YFAS)?
  • YFAS validation study
  • 67 weight loss surgery patients
  • 63% female, 87% Caucasian
  • Mean age of 43 years
how many people with obesity have yfas food addiction
How many people with obesity have YFAS “food addiction”?

Use often more than intended 22%

Failed attempts to reduce or stop use 71%

Time+++ 24%

Giving up other important activities 10%

Continued use despite 28%

Tolerance 14%

Withdrawal 16%

54% met YFAS criteria for food addiction

non essential energy dense nutritionally deficient neednt foods
Non-essential, energy-dense, nutritionally-deficient (NEEDNT) foods

Dr Jane Elmslie

Dietitian - NAC

slide48

George Eman Vaillant, 1988

(1934 - present)

“What is needed is that addicts alter

their whole pattern of living”

key elements of an addiction approach to recovery
Key elements of an addiction approach to recovery
  • Permanent lifestyle change
  • Details unique for each individual
  • Ongoing support and encouragement for at least five years
  • New food rules as “addiction interrupters”
a research based self help obesity recovery network kia akina be encouraged and supported
A research-based self-help obesity recovery networkKia Akina“Be encouraged and supported”
slide51

“Food can act on the brain as an addictive substance. Certain constituents of food, sugar in particular, may hijack the brain and override will, judgement and personal responsibility, and in so doing create a public health menace.

The foods most likely to trigger an addictive process appear to be those marketed most aggressively by industry, which manipulates its products to maximize palatability”

Kelly Brownell & Mark Gold (2012)

slide52
“Food is the most available and inexpensive drug around”

Elissa Epel, Janet Tomiyama, Mary DallmanStress and Reward – Neural Networks, Eating and Obesity (2012)