Food addicts lack contemplative will power, say researchers from the University of Luxembourg.
Professor Claus Voegele from the University said that all addictions are similar in that the sufferer craves to excess the feel-good buzz they receive from chemical neurotransmitters produced when they eat, gamble, smoke, have sex or take drugs.
In this original test, images of fatty or sweet food and non-food items were flashed at random on a computer screen, where women were instructed to click as fast as possible on either the food or non-food pictures. The women with weight problems performed less well than the average.
Tests were run either three hours after eating or just after meals, ant the researchers found that several women with weight problems said the test had provoked food craving, regardless of how recently they had eaten.
Prof. Voegele added that this suggests that some people may have an instinctive, psychological predisposition to binge eating, adding that they may over-eat to comfort themselves, because they are bored or just out of habit.