Can eating become an addiction? There seem to be some parallels. The human brain of persons with obesity and persons with an addiction show an increased activity in specific brain areas as reaction to food or drug stimuli respectively.
Obese persons are often confronted with prejudices, depreciation, social isolation and discrimination. These are chronic stressors and the psychic strain through such stigmatizations can lead to depressions, anxiety disorders and even often to further weight increase.
The IFB scientist Dr. Claudia Sikorski and her team analyzed 64 scientific studies that examined the association between the stigmatization of obese people and mental strains and disorders. Stigmatization has a negative effect on the psyche and obesity.
There are only insufficient treatment options for severe overweight in Germany. Considering this situation, it is a milestone, that the University Hospital Leipzig and the AOK Plus Saxony and Thuringia supported by the IFB were able to draft a contract allowing a comprehensive obesity therapy.
The “Best Student Abstract Award” was awarded to the 28 year-old psychologist and IFB researcher Dr. Anne Brauhardt by the major international professional society for the study of eating disorders (Eating Disorders Research Society, EDRS in the USA).
In September 2014, Isabel Wagner received a very competitive grant from the European Society for Pediatric Endocrinology (ESPE) for her obesity research at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm. The 31 year old scientist works in the Swedish capital since October 2013.
Researchers at the Integrated Research and Treatment Center (IFB) AdiposityDiseases of the University of Leipzig have found out that certain biochemical changes in the genes (methylation) are stronger in abdominal than in the subcutaneous adipose tissue.
Overweight of children and teenagers is an increasing problem in Germany. A big national study (KiGGS) says that about 1.9 million 3-17-year-olds are overweight. 800.000 of these boys and girls are obese (adipose).