A case-control study investigating food addiction in Parkinson patients

Sci Rep. 2021 May 25;11(1):10934. doi: 10.1038/s41598-021-90266-8.


Eating disorders (EDs) in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) are mainly described through impulse control disorders but represent one end of the spectrum of food addiction (FA). Although not formally recognized by DSM-5, FA is well described in the literature on animal models and humans, but data on prevalence and risk factors compared with healthy controls (HCs) are lacking. We conducted a cross-sectional study including 200 patients with PD and 200 age- and gender-matched HCs. Characteristics including clinical data (features of PD/current medication) were collected. FA was rated using DSM-5 criteria and the Questionnaire on Eating and Weight Patterns-Revised (QEWP-R). Patients with PD had more EDs compared to HCs (27.0% vs. 13.0%, respectively, p < 0.001). They mainly had FA (24.5% vs. 12.0%, p = 0.001) and night eating syndrome (7.0% vs. 2.5% p = 0.03). In PD patients, FA was associated with female gender (p = 0.04) and impulsivity (higher attentional non-planning factor) but not with the dose or class of dopaminergic therapy. Vigilance is necessary, especially for PD women and in patients with specific impulsive personality traits. Counterintuitively, agonist dopaminergic treatment should not be used as an indication for screening FA in patients with PD.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Food Addiction / epidemiology*
  • Food Addiction / etiology
  • Humans
  • Impulsive Behavior
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Night Eating Syndrome / epidemiology*
  • Parkinson Disease / psychology*
  • Prevalence
  • Sex Characteristics