A clinical study into treating food addiction with a low carbohydrate and psychoeducational program has been carried out for the first time in the world.
Around 20 per cent of the general population is known to have a food addiction which can cause a range of serious health problems, including diabetes, heart disease, obesity, chronic fatigue and pain and sleep disorders.
Now, food addicts are being offered new hope thanks to a study led by award-winning UK Consultant Clinical Health Psychologist and author Dr Jen Unwin.
Her teams of researchers have worked with more than 100 participants diagnosed with food addiction in the UK, North America and Sweden to see if they benefitted from 10 to 14 weeks of online group intervention.
Dr Unwin said: “Everyone is familiar with carb addiction and yet incredibly this is the first time in the world there has been a clinical study like this one.
“Our international teams have studied what happens when food addicts were given the chance to participate in an online group intervention.
“They learned about addiction concepts, the biochemistry of the brain, self-assessment screening, an abstinent individual low carbohydrate or real food plan and relapse prevention and recovery protection planning.
“Excitingly, across all three countries the participants achieved significant reductions in food addiction symptoms and bodyweight and a significant improvement in mental wellbeing.”
The findings have been published in Frontiers in Psychiatry where it entered the top 1 per cent of all papers ever published within just four days of its publication.
Dr Unwin will share more detailed information about the study with hundreds of healthcare professionals at the Diabetes Professional Care conference which will take place at Olympia London on November 16 and 17.
She said: “I’m delighted to be the first psychologist to be invited to speak at the Diabetes Professional Care conference.
“I’m excited to be able to share the results of our study at the conference because improving the outcomes for people with type 2 diabetes depends on behaviour change, diet and exercise.”
Dr Unwin has also written a book called Fork in the Road which helps readers to identify if they have a carbohydrate addiction and gives them the tools to change their lives.
All profits from the book go to charity and it is available on Amazon.
To register for the Diabetes Professional Care conference, click here.