The enormous challenges of developing countries in the world have brought changes not only in traditional lifestyle but also in the inherent cultural and behavioral norms. The changes in their diet have led to the current understanding of global nutrition transition, a developmental disease epidemic brought about by changes in the dietary habits in many developing countries. This dietary shift from traditional diet to processed food products have led to the increase prevalence of obesity and overnutrition. On top of the global nutrition transition, the epidemic of drug addiction is no longer attributed to high income countries but in low to middle income countries as well. Recent studies in developing countries have shown that the increase prevalence of obesity and overnutrition precedes the development of increase prevalence in drug addiction. Current understanding into the behavioral plasticity in obesity and drug addiction points to the dopaminereward system as a fundamental substrate into the developmental programming of these diseases. This paper examines the neural axis reward mechanism and the epigenetic implications which governs the development of obesity and drug addiction, a seemingly unrelated phenomenon and yet interrelated and connected by the same substrate mechanism based on a reward mechanism.
Francis Gregory R Samonte
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