Addiction Transfer via Nutrition During Pregnancy

Addiction Transfer via Nutrition During Pregnancy 

Ever wondered about the impact of nutrition during pregnancy? This presentation reviews the evidence from animal models.

Preclinical evidence for the addiction potential of highly palatable foods: Current developments related to maternal influence

by David Wiss, Kristen Criscitelli, Mark Gold, Nicole Avena


It is well established that obesity has reached pandemic proportions. Over the last four decades the

prevalence of obesity and morbid obesity have risen substantially in both men and women worldwide.

Although there are many causative factors leading to excessive weight gain including genetics and

sedentary lifestyle, the transformation of the food environment has undoubtedly contributed to the

dangerously high rates of obesity. The current food landscape is inundated with food engineered to

contain artificially high levels of sugar and fat. Overconsumption of these types of food overrides the

homeostatic mechanisms, which under normal circumstances regulate appetite and body mass, leading

to hedonic eating. Evidence from the animal literature has illustrated nutrition-influenced perturbations

that occur within the mesolimbic dopamine pathway, as well as maladaptive behavioral responses that

result from chronic ingestion of highly palatable foods. These neurobehavioral adaptations are similar to

what is observed in drugs of abuse. Recent evidence also supports that maternal exposure to these foods

is capable of provoking neurobehavioral alterations in offspring. Therefore the purpose of this review is

to summarize the current developments on the addictive potential of highly palatable foods, as well as

illuminate the impact of maternal hyperphagia and obesity on the reward-related neurocircuitry and

addiction-like behaviors in the offspring.

Journal Article HERE

Recorded webinar below!

This is a mini-webinar reviewing recent evidence of the impact of highly palatable foods on the neurodevelopment of the offspring, using animal models. The video is 10:19 and is highly recommended for those interested in brain chemistry, hormones, and epigenetics. This is a sensitive topic. Feedback is always welcome!

About the author: David A. Wiss
David A. Wiss
David Wiss, MS, RDN is the founder of Nutrition in Recovery, which specializes in: Addictions, Eating Disorders, Mental Health, Body Image, and General Wellness. Mr. Wiss works closely with individuals to help them revolutionize their relationship with food and has shared his expertise with numerous eating disorder and addiction facilities throughout the greater Los Angeles area. David is a nationally recognized expert in nutrition for addiction and is currently working on his Ph.D. in Public Health from UCLA.