Are You A Donut Junkie?
Fatty foods have the same symptoms as a drug habit.
Ever thought of yourself as addicted to junk food? That may be true—literally.
Researchers who studied the effect of junk food on rats discovered that eating it can affect the brain in the same way that recreational drugs do. In a study, rats were given unlimited amounts of junk food—everything from frosting (ugh) to donuts and snack cakes, according to the website LiveScience.
As a result, the website reported, many dopamine receptors (a substance in the brain related to a sense of reward) disappeared, possibly indicating that the rats needed more food in order to feel satisfaction. And in another sign of addiction, researchers reported, eating became the first priority in the rats’ routine. In fact, they wanted to eat so much that they kept on stuffing themselves even after they were warned, via a signal, that they would get an electrical shock if they didn’t stop. (On the other hand,rats that ate regular food did not gorge themselves.)
One researcher, Paul Kenny of the Scripps Research Institute in Florida, said the rats’ behavior is similar to that found in compulsive eaters and drug addicts. “They can’t control it even when doctors have warned them, and their relationships suffer,” Kenny told LiveScience.
The bottom line, Kenny says: “These foods are not as innocuous as you think.” (LiveScience)