In my book, I speak of addictions to sugar and fat. Big business is aware of this and uses it to make us want their products more.


Can Eating Junk Food Really Be An Addiction?

By Maia Szalavitz

Published 4/03/2010,8599,1977604-1,00.html


This article discusses an experiment that shows how junk food can be addicting. In this experiment, run by researchers at the Scripps Research Institute in Jupiter, Florida, three groups of lab rats were fed various diets for 40 days. The first group was given typical rat food only, the second group was given typical rat food plus a buffet of bacon, sausage, cheesecake, and chocolate frosting for one hour a day, and the third group was allowed extended access to the buffet for up to 23 hours a day.

The extended-access group became obese, as expected. However, on a not so obvious note, the extended-access showed deficits in their “reward threshold.” The high-sugar and high-fat foods changed the functioning of the rats’ brain circuity, making it harder for them to register pleasure; they developed a…

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