Obsessive Eating



Obsessive eating is a term not used as a clinical diagnosis, but refers to a pathological habit of eating. Obsessive eating accompanies various types of neuropsychological disorders, such as eating disorders, autism spectrum disorder, and obsessive–compulsive disorders. On the other hand, continuous ingestion of a restricted number of food items or a restricted amount of food may cause nutritional imbalance, alterations in blood levels of hormones and other chemicals, or both, as well as serious health problems including an altered psychological state. We encountered a female adolescent patient with anorexia nervosa, who was obsessed by an extremely restricted eating habit. As a result of ingesting only bananas and mineral water for more than 2 years, she exhibited biochemical and metabolic disorders such as hyperkalemia, hyperdopaminemia, and pseudoaldosteronism. The patient also showed a drastic change in her psychological state, represented by decreased anxiety and an increase in inner-impulse. Based on the biochemical changes seen in the patient, the accumulation of free dopamine due to obsessive banana ingestion was the most likely cause of her altered psychological state. When the patient resumed eating other food items after 26 months of obsessive and restricted banana ingestion, the abnormalities in her blood values and her psychological state were corrected to that of preobsessive eating period. From this case, we conclude that an obsessive and restricted eating habit can modulate biological and psychological homeostasis.


Autism Spectrum Disorder Anorexia Nervosa Eating Disorder Binge Eating Bulimia Nervosa 



Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders


5-Hydroxytryptamine, serotonin


Growth hormone


Insulin-like growth factor-1, somatomedin-C


Adrenocorticotropic hormone


Thyroid-stimulating hormone


Tokyo University egogram


State-trait anxiety inventory


Body mass index



The authors acknowledge the contributions of Dr. Ryoichi Sakuta, MD, PhD, Toshiro Nagai, MD, PhD; and the patient presented in this chapter. This work is supported by Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research (B) of Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, and The Science Research Promotion Fund of The Promotion and Mutual Aid Corporation for Private Schools of Japan.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of EducationBunkyo UniversityKoshigaya-CityJapan

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