BNF held a half day event on Monday 7 October 2013 at Sainsbury's Conference Centre, London on the topic of food addiction. The event was chaired by Professor John Blundell, Chair of Biopsychology at the University of Leeds. The speakers that presented were Professor Ian Macdonald (University of Nottingham), Professor Peter Rogers (University of Bristol), Professor Sadaf Farooqi (University of Cambridge) and Associate Professor Graham Finlayson (University of Leeds).

Food addiction is a hugely topical and controversial issue  in nutrition at the moment. Following the publication of a number of papers which focused in particular on sugar, fat, processed foods and addiction, there has been extensive publicity  in the press on the supposition that  certain foods are ‘addictive’ and that  food ‘addiction’ is contributing to the current obesity epidemic. The purpose of the event was to consider the topic of food addiction in detail and examine the evidence behind claims that have been made and reported in the popular press. 

The conference was accredited by the Association for Nutrition. Some of the presentations from the day can be found below.




Live broadcast of presentations

The presentations by Prof John Blundell (14.00), Prof Peter Rogers (14.10) and Prof Ian Macdonald (15.40) were live-streamed online.

The recordings of the three presentations can be viewed below.




Chair: Professor John Blundell, Chair of Biopsychology, University of Leeds

13:30 Registration and refreshments

14:00 Introduction: Food addiction – the current scene
Prof John Blundell, University of Leeds

14:10 Food addiction – a helpful or unhelpful explanation of overeating?
Prof Peter Rogers, University of Bristol

14:40 How valid is food addiction and can it be measured?
Associate Prof Graham Finlayson, University of Leeds

15:10 Reviewing the neuroscience – what do brain techniques tell us?
Prof Sadaf Farooqi, University of Cambridge

15:40 Sucrose and fructose – is sugar really like cocaine?
Prof Ian Macdonald, University of Nottingham

16:10 Discussion and closing comments

16:30 Close