What is in a name? Is food addiction a misnomer?



Publication Details

Vella, S. & Pai, N. (2017). What is in a name? Is food addiction a misnomer?. Asian Journal of Psychiatry, 25 123-126.


Recently interest in the phenomenon of food addiction has increased substantially since the inclusion of gambling disorder in the DSM-5. However the phenomenon of food addiction remains controversial and the designation continues to lack clear consideration. Few researchers have offered an explicit theoretical definition of the phenomenon which is fundamental; as it not only pertains to the aetiology it also directs research and management of the phenomenon. Therefore this review explores 'what is in a name'? Specifically possible aetiologies of food addiction, eating addiction and food addiction as an eating disorder are reviewed and the potential DSM-5 classification espoused. It is evident that the phenomenon requires further research and evaluation in order to delineate whether the phenomenon constitutes a disorder and if the phenomenon is found to be a valid entity the most appropriate designation. As it is too early to draw definitive conclusions regarding the concept all plausible designations and the associated aetiologies require further investigation.

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