The Society of Biological Psychiatry has dedicated the May 1, 2013, edition of its flagship journal, Biological Psychiatry, to the debate over whether “food is, or can be addictive.” According to its introduction, the special issue explores (i) whether food and drugs of abuse share common neurobiological mechanisms; (ii) whether the addiction model can “reasonably” be adopted for binge eating; (iii) the possibility of shared vulnerabilities, such as stress, that can affect “the likelihood of a relapse for drug addiction and obesity”; and (iv) the key differences between food and drug addiction models. To this end, it includes articles that address the theories, concepts and evidence behind food addiction models; addiction risk factors and susceptibility; neural adaptations and reward circuits; and the prevalence of binge eating disorder, among other topics.

Additional details about commentary authored by Ashley Gearhardt and Kelly Brownell for this special edition appear in Issue 450 of this Update. Additional details about National Institute on Drug Abuse Director Nora Volkow’s contributions appear in Issue 470 of this Update.