You can now read 10 articles in a month for free on Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

The Boston Globe


Is obesity a form of addiction?

We’ve all been there. What starts as a handful of chips or a spoonful of ice cream ends with an empty container and dread of the bathroom scale. But what it is it about overeating that makes even the most disciplined person occasionally lose control?

For years, researchers have been probing the possibility that obesity and addiction overlap, with emerging evidence suggesting that the same reward circuits in the brain that are activated by drugs also respond to calories. Obese people, the thinking goes, may overindulge because their brains’ reward circuitry, which responds to the pleasure of eating, is out of whack.

Loading comments...

You have reached the limit of 10 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week