Navigation Links
Childhood abuse linked with food addiction in adult women

Women who experienced severe physical or sexual abuse during childhood are much more likely to have a food addiction as adults than women who did not experience such abuse, according to a new study published in the journal Obesity. The study's findings provide valuable new information regarding potential causes and treatments for food addiction and obesity.

National surveys indicate that more than a third of American women experienced some form of physical or sexual abuse before they reached 18 years of age. Also, research shows that such childhood abuse has consequences not only for women's mental health, but also for their physical health. In particular, many studies have documented a link between childhood abuse and later obesity, possibly because stress may cause one to overeat high-sugar and high-fat "comfort" foods in an uncontrolled manner.

Because of these findings, Susan Mason, PhD, of Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, and her colleagues looked for a link between childhood abuse and addiction-like eating behaviors in women. The researchers studied 57,321 adult participants in the Nurses' Health Study II, which ascertained physical and sexual child abuse histories in 2001 and current food addiction in 2009. (Food addiction was defined as three or more addiction-like eating behaviors severe enough to cause significant distress or loss of function.)

The analysis revealed that addiction-like eating behaviors were relatively common among women in the study, with eight percent meeting the criteria for food addiction. Women who had experienced physical or sexual abuse before the age of 18 years were almost twice as likely to have a food addiction in middle adulthood compared with women without a history of childhood abuse. The likelihood of food addiction was increased even further for women who had experienced both physical and sexual abuse in childhood. The food addiction prevalence varied from six percent among women without a history of physical or sexual abuse to 16 percent among women with a history of both severe physical and sexual abuse. Also, women with a food addiction were generally heavier than women without a food addiction.

Dr. Mason and her co-authors caution that the study's findings are exploratory and will need to be replicated before any conclusions can be drawn about a causal link between childhood abuse victimization and addiction-like overeating. If enough evidence of this association accumulates, the next step will be to find ways to reduce the risk of addiction-like overeating among women who experienced childhood abuse. "Women with histories of trauma who show a propensity toward uncontrolled eating could potentially be referred for prevention programs, while obese women might be screened for early trauma and addiction-like eating so that any psychological impediments to weight loss could be addressed," said Dr. Mason. "Of course, preventing childhood abuse in the first place would be the best strategy of all, but in the absence of a perfect child abuse prevention strategy, it is important that we try to head off its negative long-term health consequences," she added.


Contact: Amy Molnar

Related medicine news :

1. New study identifies promising, achievable solutions to Nigerias childhood mortality crisis
2. Symptomatic behaviour in childhood strongly predicts psychiatric treatment as a young adult
3. Study identifies potential treatment for lethal childhood leukemia
4. Childhood Obesity May Raise Odds of Adult Liver Cancer
5. IADR/AADR publish studies on severe early childhood caries - proposes new classification
6. Could the Childhood Obesity Epidemic Be Ebbing?
7. Better health in adulthood starts with early prevention in childhood
8. Environment key to preventing childhood disabilities
9. Treating childhood obesity: A family affair
10. Pneumonia and preterm birth complications are the leading causes of childhood death
11. Experimental Drug Helps Fight Some Childhood Cancers, Study Finds
Post Your Comments:
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... 2015 , ... NavaFit Inc. today announced the launch of its NavaFit app ... in local fitness & sporting events, and stay motivated. Users can download ... drive us to get more serious about fitness and wellness, individuals are constantly looking ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... October 13, 2015 , ... Altec ... their Title Sponsorship of Synergy 2015. The annual WennSoft KEY2ACT user conference will ... Ranch and will unite customers, partners, WennSoft team members and sponsors to facilitate ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... October 13, 2015 , ... ... telemedicine programs in communities throughout Georgia, along with affiliate organizations, Alabama Partnership for ... their regional telehealth summits for Fall 2015. , Each of the three ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... October 13, 2015 , ... Local Gold’s Gym franchise owner, Bryce ... on August 26. Berry, who owns and operates Gold's Gym Cheyenne in ... Gold’s Gyms in the United States. A brand leader in global fitness, Gold’s Gyms ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... October 13, 2015 , ... With Fall weather approaching and ... for this month’s Facebook Hair Styler Contest. , Enter to win! , How to ... What Is Your Favorite Hair Style? , 3. Follow us on Instagram @thebeautyplace ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/13/2015)... 13, 2015  Yesterday Congresswoman Renee Ellmers ... manufacturing site located in Holly Springs, NC ... produced Flucelvax ® (Influenza Vaccine) using cell-culture technology, a ... start-up and is not reliant on chicken eggs. 1,2 ... influenza vaccines business of Novartis AG in the US, ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... -- Given the intricacy of the anatomy and ... an ophthalmic drug effectively to a specific ocular site. Several ... delivery. These include dilution of a drug by tears, clearance ... drug permeation issues with respect to the cornea, sclera and ... is lost due to the aforementioned barriers. --> ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... and CRANBURY, N.J. , Oct. ... LLP announces that a securities fraud class ... for the District of New Jersey.  The complaint alleges ... FOLD) violated the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 between ... materially false and misleading statements about Amicus Therapeutics, business ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: