This review examines human feeding behavior in light of psychological motivational theory and highlights the importance of midbrain dopamine (DA). Prospective evidence of both reward surfeit and reward deficit pathways to increased body weight are evaluated, and we argue that it is more complex than an eitheror scenario when examining DA's role in reward sensitivity, eating, and obesity. The Taq1A genotype is a common thread that ties the contrasting models of DA reward and obesity; this genotype related to striatal DA is not associated with obesity class per se but may nevertheless confer an increased risk of weight gain. We also critically examine the concept of so-called food addiction, and despite growing evidence, we argue that there is currently insufficient human data to warrant this diagnostic label. The surgical and pharmacological treatments of obesity are discussed, and evidence is presented for the selective use of DA-class drugs in obesity treatment.
Annual Review of Nutrition – Annual Reviews
Published: Aug 21, 2017
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