Evidence linking obesity and substance use disorders continues to grow, which has led to increased interest in the role of an addictive process in problematic eating behavior. The Food and Addiction Science and Treatment (FAST) lab explores the similarities between addictive and eating behaviors through a multi-method approach including neuroimaging, behavioral phenotyping, and measurement development. The FAST lab uses a simulated fast food restaurant to investigate how cues impact food desire in a naturalistic environment. An emphasis is placed on studies that capture how factors in the food environment (e.g., food commercials, food-related product placements) may lead potentially addictive foods to have widespread clinical and public health consequences.
FAST Lab featured in New York Times
Dr. Gearhardt weighs in on the debate over whether junk food is addictive