Dr. Avena's Food Addiction Research
Recently, I have added a clinical dimension to my studies, in which we use scales to assess “addiction-like” responses to food in patients with disordered eating patterns. This important work is changing lives, and helping those who struggle with excessive overeating.
Overall, my goal is to develop a comprehensive program of research focused on understanding the reward-based brain abnormalities found in obesity and other feeding disorders. It is paramount to educate the public on how sugar affects the brain, which is what prompted me to do a TedEd talk last year.
Although we have made some key discoveries that have allowed this new and exciting field to emerge and flourish, funding from the federal government is hard to get, and obviously the food industry does not want to support our research- especially when you are studying something so controversial like food addiction. Plus, Senator Flake (AZ) just released his annual Federal Wastebook, where he has the audacity to call our work on food addiction “wasteful!” It’s shameful that someone in government would allow their financial ties to McDonalds cloud their judgment and deem it wasteful to study the second leading cause of preventable death in the US, obesity.
Remember, we need these scientific findings to support our efforts to make changes to our national food system, and every tax-deductible donation goes towards making these efforts a reality!