Behavioral and Neurobiological Consequences of Hedonic Feeding on Alcohol Drinking

Curr Pharm Des. 2020;26(20):2309-2315. doi: 10.2174/1381612826666200206092231.


A complex interplay of peripheral and central signaling mechanisms within the body of an organism maintains energy homeostasis. In addition, energy/food intake is modified by various external factors (e.g., palatability, food availability, social and environmental triggers). Highly palatable foods can provoke maladaptive feeding behavior, which in turn disrupts normal homeostatic regulation resulting in numerous health consequences. Furthermore, neuroendocrine peptides, traditionally considered to regulate appetite and energy homeostasis, also control the intake and reinforcing properties of alcohol and drugs of abuse. Therefore, dysregulated eating as a result of a hedonic/binge-like intake of hyper-palatable food may impact alcohol drinking behavior. Relevant in this case is the fact that eating disorders are highly comorbid with several neuropsychiatric conditions, including alcohol use disorder. The present review is intended to summarize the neurobiological and functional consequences of hedonic feeding on alcohol intake.

Keywords: High-fat diet; alcohol; alcohol use disorder; homeostatic; neuroendocrine; nutritional contingency; palatable diet..

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alcohol Drinking / adverse effects
  • Appetite
  • Binge-Eating Disorder*
  • Eating
  • Feeding Behavior
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders*
  • Humans