Why was FARE created?

Food Addiction Research Education (FARE) grew out of a commitment to share with the public the scientific community’s increasing knowledge and understanding of how specific foods affect the brain. The founders realized that the growing scientific knowledge about food addiction was being hidden by the food industry itself. Just as we have learned that nicotine and smoking cause lung cancer, we are discovering that specific foods can be addictive and cause obesity, heart disease and cancer.

Brain scans and scientific research now show us how highly processed foods activate the same neural circuits in our brains as do drugs such as cocaine, heroine and morphine. When highly processed foods are consumed on a consistent basis, they can alter brain chemistry and create addiction. Many children are growing up eating highly processed foods, and some are becoming addicted to these substances at a very young age. This sets the stage for increased childhood obesity and diabetes.

FARE was initially formed in 2009 to host the first Food Addiction Summit, which was attended by scientists, academics and healthcare professionals from around the world. Spearheaded by community volunteer and philanthropist Debbi Brainerd, the Seattle conference inspired many follow-on projects and collaborations among the professionals who came together. The FARE website is one such initiative that evolved from the work of Ms. Brainerd and connections made at the 2009 Summit.

FARE is committed to raising public awareness about food addiction by providing current research and information explaining the physiological, genetic and environmental forces driving food addiction.