Food addiction & over-eating
Related to substance use is food addiction and over-eating. These phenomena are associated with overweight which is an important health concern in youth, adolescents, and (young) adults. With Mendelian Randomization we recently showed that being overweight causes more mental health problems compared to normal weight, while no evidence was found for a causal relationship in the other direction (from mental health to overweight).
In September 2017, data collection started of a longitudinal project on weight-related behavior in a large sample of adolescents and their parents (project “G(V)OED voor elkaar”). We will include information of both peers (at school) and parents (at home) to obtain a more complete picture of the factors influencing weight-related behavior in the critical developmental period from 12 to 15 years old.
Another question is whether ‘food addiction’ exists and whether there is overlap with substance use (nicotine, alcohol, cannabis).