Today, we speak with scientist Dr. Caroline Davis. Dr. Davis is a pioneer in the academic study of food addiction. Researching in the 1990s, when most people were studying aberrant eating from purely an eating disorder model. Dr. Davis was connecting the dots of addiction from within her eating disorder research.
Dr. Davis is an established academic with a strong track record in the areas of psychobiological risk factors for obesity and disordered eating, as seen by her numerous publications in high-quality journals and her many conferences and presentations at international meetings. Her psychogenetic work has examined the role of brain reward mechanisms in regulating appetite and overeating. She is also strongly interested in biologically based personality traits that moderate food consumption and interface with environmental risk factors.
She was one of the first to examine the role of brain reward mechanisms in regulating appetite and overeating. Dr. Davis is a professor emeritus in the Kinesiology and Health Sciences department at York University and was also cross-appointed to the Psychology Program at York University. In addition, she had an Affiliate Scientist position at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health and in the Department of Psychiatry, University Health Network, both in Toronto.
In today’s episode:
- How she got into the area of food addiction when eating disorder literature dominated the research agenda at the time in the 1990s
- Her thoughts about the DSM and ICD for food addiction inclusion
- How our Neurotransmitters are enhanced with starvation and over exercise
- Her connection to Ashley Gearhardt creator of the Yale Food Addiction Scale
- How she moved from the eating disorder model to the addiction model
- The neuro-adaptation model of dopamine
- Eating disorders and food addiction falling on a continuum
- Why some people choose specific substances over others