- Reviewed by Toni Golen, MD, Editor in Chief, Harvard Women's Health Watch; Editorial Advisory Board Member, Harvard Health Publishing; Contributor
Nearly one in five older women showed signs of addiction to highly processed foods and drinks over the past year, a higher proportion than in men, a new nationally representative poll indicates.
The survey, part of University of Michigan's National Poll on Healthy Aging, was published online Jan. 30, 2023. It involved 2,163 people, ages 50 through 80, who were questioned online or by phone in July 2022. Participants answered 13 questions gauging addictive behaviors and thoughts related to highly processed foods such as sweets, salty snacks, sugary drinks, and fast food. These addiction indicators include intense cravings, inability to cut down on consumption, and signs of withdrawal. To meet the definition of addiction to highly processed food, participants had to report experiencing at least two of 11 symptoms, as well as significant distress or problems related to eating, at least twice a week.
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About the Author
Maureen Salamon, Executive Editor, Harvard Women's Health Watch
About the Reviewer
Toni Golen, MD, Editor in Chief, Harvard Women's Health Watch; Editorial Advisory Board Member, Harvard Health Publishing; Contributor
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