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Are Mobile Apps Turning Gamers into Food Addicts?

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The Wall Street Journal recently reported that food makers are now using mobile apps to target potential consumers, many of whom are children. For individuals who deal with food addiction/compulsive overeating, these apps can be especially dangerous as they are designed to associate a pleasurable experience with a particular food.

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  • ppeeke

    As a physician and scientist, I applaud your bringing this app leading to food addiction issue to people's attention. I just published the NY Times best seller The Hunger Fix, the first consumer book on the new food addiction science and a science-based plan of action for food addiction. The WSJ article was very disturbing. Research has shown that the brain is exquisitely responsive to cues to eat. Food cues are ubiquitous and multimedia. The food is never tuna on a bed of greens. It's the "hyperpalatables"--- sugary/fatty/salty foods that science has shown hijack the reward center in the brain and begin the vicious cycle of food addiction. Weaning children on these cues is a set up for food fights with parents who want to feed kids more healthfully, and the dangerous potential for lifelong food addiction. Pitch these apps and gently educate kids about healthy eating. I love Chop Chop mag and online http://www.chopchopmag.org/ for families and kids to learn how to cook and eat well. Best, Dr. Pamela Peeke www.drpeeke.com