Our brain does not respond to chemical substances in certain types of food like it does to substances like cocaine and heroin. At least, there is too little scientific evidence to support that an ingredient like food additives, sugar or fat is addictive (Suzanne Dickinson, University of Göteborg).
Eating addiction, rather than food addiction
A team of researchers found that people càn get mentally addicted to though. According to their study, people with food addiction develop a psychological need for food that originates from positive thoughts that are assigned to food. In that way, food addiction finds itself at a cognitive level like other behavioral problems such as alcohol addiction.
Can food addiction be treated?
Taken the fact that food addiction is very similar to alcohol addiction, we can learn from an experimental study (Wiers, Rinck, Kordts, Houben, & Strack, 2010) that had promising outcomes regarding serious gaming to treat alcohol addiction.
Serious gaming to treat food addiction
Previous research shows that serious gaming affects the attentional bias which merits at alcohol dependence. This attentional bias is exactly the same that we see back in people addicted to food. I have therefore based an experimental study on food addiction x serious gaming on this alcohol addiction x serous gaming study. It seemed that a serious game treatment was more effective at certain important points (such as body dissatisfaction) than a non-game treatment. My study implicated that the application of a serious game may be more useful than a non-game to treat food addictions.
Curious towards my study? Download it here (text in Dutch, contact me if you are interested, but cannot read Dutch).
* source can be found in