Scientists and nutritionists who gathered in Dublin recently concluded that addictions to foods (classically chocolate) may not exist.
The Food Safety Authority of Ireland’s consultative council brought the experts together to investigate whether it is possible to be addicted to certain foods or ingredients.
Professor Julian Mercer, who is head of the obesity and metabolic health division of the University of Aberdeen, stated "You could have a whole library full of books just on sucrose addiction.
"But addiction is defined as a chronic, relapsing brain disease characterised by compulsive drug seeking and use, despite harmful consequences.
"Is that [definition] appropriate to describe many people’s interactions with food?"
He also believes the frequent use of the term "food addiction" does not help obese people. “How do people with a weight problem respond to the idea of food addiction? Is that helpful or is it actually a negative thing for them?"
The consensus was that the degree to which we are surrounded by unhealthy foods in our day-to-day lives facilitates overindulgence.