Junk Food As Addicting As Heroin?!

Friend and blog reader Yas passed this blog post from FitSugar on to me and I wanted to share it with all of you.

Since we’re coming off one of the traditional food-fest holidays where sweets and treats are abundant, I thought it’d be an appropriate and timely piece.

Per FitSugar, “A new study says that eating junk food can fuel an addiction that is on par with what a cocaine or heroin junkie feels. The study, conducted by the Scripps Research Institute, followed the behavioral patterns of lab rats that were given an unlimited supply of junk food.

Over time, the rats had less sensitivity in their brain’s pleasure centers and needed to up the amount of high-fat and high-calorie foods they were eating, in effect, to get high. Not surprisingly, the rats got really fat too — doubling their initial weight.”

You can read  more about the whole study here.

I’ve heard of similar studies, and have always been of the mind that there is truth to junk food being “addicting.”

Though I don’t chew and spit anymore (not since March!!) I admit I still find it hard to stop once I buy juk food that I used to chew/spit. I end up budgeting it into my day’s Points, but usually that means swapping out something else more nutritious in favor of what I already consumed to stay within my “budget.”

The better option is clearly not buying said addicting junk food at all, but there’s a part of me that wants to learn how to co-exist with treats; moderation. Sometimes I am more successful at this incorporation than others.

How about you? What do you make of this study? In your experience, is junk food addicting and if so, do you see it on par with addictive drugs?


5 thoughts on “Junk Food As Addicting As Heroin?!

  1. I think it is addicting. I seem to do better when I can just “let it all go,” and will eat more fruits and veggies. But once I start having it, I start having it repeatedly, and have a really hard time cutting it out, and even having it in moderation. And when I have less sugar, I crave it less.

  2. Very interesting study. I don’t know if it is AS addicting as heroin/drugs but it can be hard to stop once you start. I can eat a small portion of high quailty dark chocolate (which I do not consider junk food) and be satisfied but if I have “junky” candy like snickers, M&M’s etc I have a hard time stopping.

  3. I truly think it is addicting. I’ve never done heroine/cocaine, so I can’t compare it, but…once I start I simply cannot stop! For me if I avoid it all together, I am okay. But once I have one or two or three M&M’s…it’s almost always over!

  4. Such good points, ladies … I definitely feel it’s addicting, but I’ve also never experimented with drugs or cigarettes so I don’t really know anything about addiction except maybe to shopping or food 😉

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