There is no clear consensus on whether food addiction exists or whether people that struggle to control their intake of certain foods can be categorised as food addicts.

However, a lot of research has gone, and it is still going, into how certain foods can stimulate our brain reward system in a similar way as opioids or other toxic substances do.

Researches like Dr Nicole Avena, Prof Bart Hoebel, Dr Ernest Noble, Dr Mark Gold, and many others have been working for years on research that supports the concept that some foods like high content sugar and fat foods could be classified as addictive.

A lot of these studies are available online.

If you would like more information about Dr Nicole Avena click here.

You can access some of the articles by Prof Hoebel on pubmed by clicking here.

Some of the research by Ernest Noble on the dopamine receptor D2 is available online here.

ICD-11 and DSM-VI Classifications

Although at present Food Addiction is not recognised as a substance abuse disorder, there is evidence that the behaviour of binge eating certain foods and certain eating and related behaviours are addictive.

The standardised tool to evaluate if someone might be suffering with food addiction called Yale Food Addiction Scale, was developed by the University of Yale in 2008 and is based in the DSM criteria of substance use disorders.

The Food Addiction Institute

From their website: “The Food Addiction Institute (FAI), founded in 2005, is an independent, non-profit organization whose mission is to support the healing of all food addicts.”

Based in America, the Food Addiction Institute aims to promote acceptance of food addiction as a disease of substance abuse helping research to expand knowledge and provide professional and public education to doctors, dietitians, therapists, counsellors and other health care professionals internationally. It also offers information and resources about training and treatment practices for food addiction.

Their website has a section for professionals full of information about research and training.

Its board of members encompasses a wide range of professionals in food addiction from many different backgrounds.

You can visit their website here.

Esther H Gudmundsdottir


INFACT- The International School for Food Addiction Counselling and Treatment

Lead by Esther H. Gudmundsdottir, she is the founder and director of the MFM treatment centre in Iceland.

Their six months online course open to all, gives you an excellent evidence based knowledge on Food Addiction diagnosis and treatment. A very attractive list of experts will keep you occupied for several weekends from September to March. International professionals like Nicole Avena and Robert Lustig (author of metabolical) join Esther Gudmundsdottir with her more than 30 years of experience treating people suffering with food addiction on this course where at the end you receive a Food Addiction Professional Certificate from the European Certification Board.

If you want to know more about INFACT and their training click here.

Bitten Jonsson

SUGAR® / ADDIS® diagnostic assessments and training.

Bitten Jonsson is a world-renowned trainer of Sugar Addiction Counsellors, with nearly 40 years of experience in addiction medicine and treatment. Based in Sweden, Bitten is a registered nurse, addiction specialist and authorised provider of SUGAR® / ADDIS® diagnostic assessments and training.

Bitten provides two types of training, the SUGAR® Certification Training and licensure and Holistic Medicine for Addiction Training, which prepares professionals to treat clients while addressing all aspects of the disease.

If you would like to know more about Bitten Jonsson and her training click here.

Training for Health Care Professionals

We, Dr Eva Clemente and Dr Raquel Delgado, are determined to raise awareness of Food Addiction as a possible “missing link” on our approach to treatment of people living with obesity.

In our clinical practice, we have all met patients who manage to lose weight through diet and exercise, drugs, bariatric surgery etc only to put it back on again. Some of them suffer with other addictions too.

We offer webinars/workshops for a variety of health care professionals, from HCAs to trainee doctors and nurses on how to identify and help these patients in clinical practice.

If you are interested in discussing a webinar for your team please contact us via email on