Intriguingly, bariatric surgery in overweight individuals can increase alcohol use.
Ertelt, T. W. et al. Alcohol abuse and
dependence before and after bariatric surgery: a review of the literature and report of a new data set. Surg. Obes. Relat. Dis.
4, 647?650 (2008).
Numerous studies have noted the addictive qualities of certain foods. In addition, brain circuitry involved in both obesity and
drug addiction have been compared:
The evidence for food?s addictive properties is steadily growing. Much as classic drugs of abuse "hijack" the brain, accumulating
evidence with food suggests a similar impact...? Gearhardt, Ashley N; Corbin, William R; Brownell, Kelly D., (2009).
Overeating shares many characteristics with substance use disorders and has been characterized as an addiction, most likely
arising from a combination of abnormal cognitive and neuroendocrine processes. Joranby, Lantie; Pineda, Kimberly Frost; Gold,
Mark S. (2005).
The results from many studies suggest that multiple but similar brain circuits are disrupted in obesity and drug addiction...
Wang, Gene-Jack; Volkow, Nora D; Thanos, Panayotis K; Fowler, Joanna S., (2009).
Sugar, as common as it is, nonetheless meets many of the criteria for a substance of abuse and may be addictive for some
individuals when consumed in a ?binge-like? manner. Avena, N.M., Rada, P., Hoebel B.G. (2007).
The presentation will illustrate the similarities between food as an addictive substance and addiction to alcohol and other
drugs of abuse, biologically and behaviorally. Ideas for the psychological treatment of post-surgical weight loss patients in light
of this awareness will be discussed.
Connie Stapleton, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist whose work in the field of addiction and recovery for the past 20 years has resulted in her
authoring three books on recovery from obesity. She actively participates with the Obesity Action Coalition, the Weight Loss Surgery Foundation of
America, and ObesityHelp. Dr. Stapleton is a national and international speaker: American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgeons, the World
Congress for the International Federation for the Surgery of Obesity and Metabolic Disorders, at the Lifestyles Intervention Conference, at the
Society for the Advancement of Sexual Health conference and at ObesityHelp conferences nationwide.
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