No kidding...junk food is as addictive as cocaine or nicotine new study finds
Posted Mar 31 2010 7:00am
Of course weight is the enemy of performance when it comes to endurance sports so it might come as no surprise to you that a new study has found that "bingeing on
high-calorie foods may be as addictive as cocaine or nicotine, and could
cause compulsive eating and obesity, according to recent Reuters story.
"Obesity may be a form of compulsive eating.
Other treatments in development for other forms of compulsion, for
example drug addiction, may be very useful for the treatment of
obesity," researcher Paul Kenny of The Scripps Research Institute in
The new study found that rats became addicted to high calorie foods or at least had a similar addiction-like responses in their brains when they were given foods high in calories.
"The scientists also found decreased levels of a
specific dopamine receptor -- a brain chemical that allows a feeling of
reward -- in overweight rats, as has been reported in humans addicted to
One group ate a balanced healthy diet. Another
group received healthy food, but had access to high-calorie food for
one hour a day. Rats in the third group were fed healthy meals and given
unlimited access to high-calorie foods.
rats in the third group developed a preference for the high-calorie
food, munched on it all day and quickly became obese, Kenny said."