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Ardelt-Gattinger E.,Obesity Academy Austria | Ardelt-Gattinger E.,University of Salzburg | Ardelt-Gattinger E.,University of Graz | Ardelt-Gattinger E.,Paracelsus Medizinischen Privatuniversitat Salzburg | And 20 more authors.
Padiatrische Praxis | Year: 2011

There is controversy about role of craving and addiction in obesity. We have shown that obese adults fulfill the minimum three criteria of ICD 10 for the diagnosis »addiction«, that they do not differ significantly from either other substance addicts, that BMI groups differ significantly in »addiction to abnormal food intake« and that addiction is a strong predictor of weight loss after surgical and behavioral interventions. Here we attempt to replicate this in children with the help of seven studies. In four cross sectional studies (n = 4428, 2480 resp. 1886, studies 1, 5 and 6), we surveyed 10-16-year old pupils from a representative selection of Austrian schools. We interviewed 160 morbidly obese young patients and their parents (age 10-16), who wanted to participate in therapy trainings sessions (study 7). In two longitudinal studies we evaluated 10-14 year old participants (n = 50, study 2 and n = 67, studies 3 and 4) of interdisciplinary obesity group training. We used the child version of the »Questionnaire on addiction to overeating« (3). Children too fulfill the minimum three criteria of ICD 10 for the diagnosis »addiction«, percentiles differ significantly in »addiction to abnormal food intake«, addiction is a strong predictor of weight regain and weight loss, distinction can be made between addiction to overeating and eating disorders and the subjective burden of feeling addicted is stronger than the burden of being obese. These results prove the relevance of food craving/addiction in childhood. Contemporary studies in neuroscience support these results. Source

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