Junk Food May Be As Addictive as Drugs

Judge Dredd - Sugar bust

Bloomberg reports:

The idea that food may be addictive was barely on scientists’ radar a decade ago. Now the field is heating up. Lab studies have found sugary drinks and fatty foods can produce addictive behavior in animals. Brain scans of obese people and compulsive eaters, meanwhile, reveal disturbances in brain reward circuits similar to those experienced by drug abusers.

Twenty-eight scientific studies and papers on food addiction have been published this year, according to a National Library of Medicine database. As the evidence expands, the science of addiction could become a game changer for the $1 trillion food and beverage industries.

If fatty foods and snacks and drinks sweetened with sugar and high fructose corn syrup are proven to be addictive, food companies may face the most drawn-out consumer safety battle since the anti-smoking movement took on the tobacco industry a generation ago.

Bloomberg: Fatty Foods Addictive Like Cocaine in Growing Body of Scientific Research

(via Abe1x)

See also: Lab Rats Always Pick Saccharin Over Cocaine


  1. Unexplored: whether addiction is correctly always labeled in the negative. A person whose eyesight is on the edge, slightly improved by glasses, will come to rely on them. Addiction?

  2. @Trevor Blake, I doubt that eyeglasses have the physiological affects of addiction. Do they effect dopamine levels? Does continued use cause reduced physiological response?

    After all, we are all addicted to the poisonous drug dihydrogen oxide. It composes 97% of a baby’s fist food. All people must consume this drug several times a day. Anyone who consumes it dies (on average) about 75 years later. And the withdrawal is a killer — literally: people deprived of this drug invariably die in about three days.

    But no, even though it is essential to life, water does not cause the classic physiological affects of addiction.

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