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Title: Food Addiction Correlates with Emotional and Craving Reactivity to Industrially Prepared (Ultra-Processed) and Home-Cooked (Processed) Foods but not Unprocessed or Minimally Processed Foods
Other Titles: Cue Reactivity to Variously Processed Foods
Authors: Delgado Rodríguez, Rafael
Moreno Padilla, María
Moreno Domínguez, Silvia
Cepeda-Benito, Antonio
Abstract: The NOVA classification system categorizes foods according to their level of processing to differentiate between industrially prepared, or Ultra-Processed (UP), and home-prepared, or Processed (P) and Minimally Processed (MP), foods. Whereas P and MP are recommended as part of a healthy diet, UP foods are considered unhealthy and a contributing factor to global, rising obesity rates. However, food addiction investigators include examples of both UP and P foods within their nomenclature of Highly Processed, addictive foods. Our study is the first to compare the potential addictiveness of a priori classified foods into UP vs P vs MP categories. We presented 169 women with a collection of 45 UP, P, and MP food pictures and recorded their subjective motivational reactivity to each picture. Analyses of covariance (ANCOVA) revealed that Yale Food Addiction Scale 2.0 (YFAS 2.0; Gearhardt et al., 2016) scores potentiated reactivity to both UP and P pictures, but not MP pictures. In addition, although both UP and P foods produced greater motivational reactivity than MP foods, UP foods elicited significantly greater reactivity than P foods. Our findings concur with previous suggestions that foods can be classified along a continuum of addictiveness potential, but our findings are the first to demonstrate that such classification might be accomplished by following the NOVA classification system. The findings also imply that nutrition experts may need to refine their NOVA classification system and, perhaps, even their healthy diet recommendations.
Keywords: NOVA classification system
Ultra-processed foods
Processed foods
Minimally processed foods
Highly processed foods
Food addiction
Issue Date: 8-Aug-2023
Publisher: Elsevier
Citation: Delgado-Rodríguez, R., Moreno-Padilla, M., Moreno-Domínguez, S., & Cepeda-Benito, A. (2023). Food addiction correlates with emotional and craving reactivity to industrially prepared (ultra-processed) and home-cooked (processed) foods but not unprocessed or minimally processed foods. Food Quality and Preference, 110, 104961.
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