Is fast food a drug?

Fast Food is addictive

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(Health Centre) – Can a bag of chips trigger an addiction like cocaine? Scientific studies in recent years examined the addiction to junk food compared to drug addiction, and brought this startling results to light. The addiction to junk food runs in our brain by the same mechanisms, such as a cocaine addiction.

Fast Food is addictive,


Is fast food a drug?
Alarmingly, there are numerous data that can be an addiction to fast food as seriously as appear to taking such a drug addiction. According to these data have highly concentrated fructose syrup, monosodium glutamate, hydrogenated oils, refined salt and various other chemical additives that can be find in industrially processed junk food, the same effect on the brain as cocaine.

A study from 2010, which was conducted by scientists at the Scripps Research Institute (SRI) performed in Florida, brought to the fore, that rats have free access to various fast food products had had a significant change in their brain activity and function, and that these changes were similar to those strong, which are also observed in the brains of drug addicts.

Fast Food addiction increases
Another study – this time by researchers at the University of Austin, Texas, and the Oregon Research Institute – found that prolonged consumption of junk food to a reduction of activity in the striatum (an area of ​​the cerebrum, the feeling of emotions, and is in charge of reward) leads. In other words: As in the case of illegal drugs, the amount of junk food continuously, which requires the addict to experience a „high“, a kind of reward for his deeds,.

The data are so impressive that they must be finally accepted by this branch of research,

said Nora Vokow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) in view of the research results.

It turns out that there are huge intersections in the mode of action of drugs and food on the brain.

Drugs cause the release of dopamine in the brain – the so-called happiness hormone. In a comparative study, the scientists discovered a similarity of dopamine production in drug addicts and people who are addicted to fast food. The addiction to drugs leads basically to the fact that the receptors in the brain that respond to dopamine and give the body a feeling of happiness, lose their sensitivity. It follows that addicts ever higher doses of the addictive substance need to achieve the same degree of satisfaction. In the brain of a dependent for fast food people running exactly from the same mechanisms.

Fast Food

Searches for chemical additives

As industrially processed foods full of synthetic chemical additives, they can be generally considered as a drug in a broader sense. Therefore, it is no wonder that millions of people are addicted to these products worldwide.

Fast Food Addiction and Obesity
The addiction to fast food apparently is also described with the nowadays widespread obesity in conjunction. The researchers have shown that obese people tend to be less sensitive dopamine receptors than normal weight. Overweight must therefore eat more to satisfy their addiction to fast food. These mechanisms in the brain may end up in a vicious circle, which can bring serious health problems.

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Johnson PM, Kenny PJ. „Dopamine D2 receptors in addiction-like reward dysfunction and compulsive eating in obese rats.“ Nat Neurosci. 2010 May; 13 (5): 635-41. (Dopamine D2 receptors in addiction like reward dysfunction and compulsive eating in obese rats.)

Kenny PJ. „Common Cellular and Molecular Mechanisms in obesity and drug addiction.“ Nat Rev Neurosci. 2011 Oct 20; 12 (11): 638-51. doi: 10.1038 / nrn3105. (Joint cellular and molecular mechanisms in obesity and drug addiction.) [Source PDF]
Stice E, et al., „Weight gain is associated with reduced striatal response to palatable food.“ J Neurosci. 2010 September 29; 30 (39): 13105-9. (Weight gain is associated with a reduced striatal response to tasty food.) [Source PDF]
Stice E, et al, „Reward Circuitry responsivity to food Predicts Future Increases in body mass. Moderating effects of DRD2 and DRD4“. Neuro Image. 2010 May 1; 50 (4): 1618-25. (Reward sensitivity to food forecasted future increase in body weight. DRD2 and DRD4 moderating effect of) [Source PDF]
Stice E, et al., „Youth at risk for obesity show greater activation of striatal and somatosensory regions to food.“ J Neurosci. 2011 Mar 23; 31 (12): 4360-6. (Young people at risk for obesity show greater activation of striatal and somatosensory regions to food.) [Source PDF]
MailOnline „Are cupcakes as addictive as cocaine? How high-sugar processed food can have same effect on the brain as drugs“ By Tamara Abraham Last updated at 9:10 PM on 2nd November 2011 (Make cupcakes as addictive as cocaine? How processed foods with lots of sugar can have the same effect on the brain as drugs.) [Source PDF]

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