Sunday, March 28, 2010

Junk Food Addiction

In a study conducted by the researches at the Scripps Research Institute in Florida, findings suggest that junk food addiction may be real.

Rats given an unlimited access to high-fat, high-calorie foods needed to consume more and more to maintain the same level of pleasure. Apparently, reward circuits in the brain became less responsive to stimulation, which is similar to what happens when one becomes addicted to cocaine or heroin. The rats even endured a mild electric shock in order to obtain the food. They just continued to overeat and become obese.

When the high-fat foods were taken away in exchange of a more healthy diet, the rats refused to eat, even though they were starving. High-fat, high-calorie diets can lead one to become compulsive overeaters.

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