See Inside October/November 2007

Feeding the Psyche

Why do we crave chips or chocolate when we are upset or anxious? Scientists are explaining the myriad connections between food and mood

Some days the refrigerator draws Hannah like a magnet. The 23-year-old pulls open the door, gropes for whatever looks interesting and gorges herself. Several times a week Hannah wolfs down mountains of food, more than 6,000 calories in a single day.

Hannah is a binge eater, subject to regular eating attacks and a loss of control over food consumption. In contrast to bulimia sufferers, Hannah makes no effort to counter her caloric intake by vomiting. As a result, she is obese. At five feet, six inches, she weighs 264 pounds.

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