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HHS HealthBeat (November 11, 2013)

Shaking the addiction

From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.

We all need food, but for some people, it’s not just a need. Compulsiveness and loss of control come with certain forms of excessive eating, and they seem to result from changes in parts of the brain involved with self-control -- the same brain areas involved in drug addiction.

Dr. Nora Volkow is the director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse. “The therapeutic interventions that have been used successfully to help people stop taking drugs actually are also applied successfully to stop overeating.”

A strong support system can be one of the first steps to controlling excessive and out of control food consumption. Groups modeled after Alcoholics Anonymous are examples of where to find such a support system. Learn more at healthfinder.gov. HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.

Last revised: November 11, 2013