across studies and do not offer strong support for claims that energy dense

Across studies and do not offer strong support for

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across studies and do not offer strong support for claims that energy-dense food is addictive or that obesity should be characterised as a brain disease (Ziauddeen et al. 2012 ). ADDICTION RESEARCH & THEORY 2018, VOL. 26, NO. 4, 249 255
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However, I argue that these attempts to frame obesity as an addiction-like brain disease expose a more fundamental weakness in the BDMA. We could accept that both addiction and obesity are characterised by changes in the structure and function of the brain, and that these changes reflect a conse- quence of chronic exposure to rewarding, pleasurable stimuli that in turn increase the motivation to consume those rewards whilst reducing the ability to control behaviour. But if these brain changes are indeed an inevitable response to the repetition of pleasurable acts (rather than something spe- cific to addictive drugs), then the more parsimonious explan- ation is that they are a completely normal and predictable reorganisation of the structure of the brain and change in its function, rather than hallmarks of a disease . This is the argument favoured by Marc Lewis which can account for the brain changes that characterise addiction, overeating, and all manner of behavioural addictions such as problem gambling (Lewis 2017 ). Challenging the brain disease model of addiction from a recovery perspective David Best and Anna Kawalek The American National Institute on Drug Abuse ( 2008 ) states that addiction is a chronic, relapsing brain disease characterised by compulsive drug seeking and use, despite harmful consequences. While this biology-based definition of addiction aims to alleviate the moral judgement, discrimin- ation and stigma associated with drug use (Seear 2017 , p. 1), evidence suggests that the BDMA has only furthered the stigma associated with addiction, leaving addicts increas- ingly vulnerable to exclusion and marginalisation (Heather 2017b ). The emergence of a recovery paradigm has challenged the conceptualisation of addiction as a biologically-driven phe- nomenon rooted in human pathology. Evidence indicates that recovery is a social experience, occurring within social contexts which change recovery experiences at a subjective level, with the emphasis on the social and on strengths. There is a high prevalence of recovery; Sheedy and Whitter ( 2009 ) showed that, on average, over half (58 % ) of alcohol or other drug addicts recover (with variability), whilst in a recent survey of recovery in Canada 51 % of participants reported achieving stable recovery at their first attempt in spite of entrenched addiction, challenging both the chronic and the relapsing components of the model (McQuaid et al. 2017 ). There is also evidence that recovery is more than simply the reversal of addiction. Hibbert and Best ( 2011 ) demon- strated that those in long-term recovery were better than well with higher life quality following recovery than typical non-addict populations, challenging the idea that recovery is a return to a homeostatic zero (Lewis 2017 ). Similarly, the
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