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WOD: Row 3k for time
Did you know that food can be just as addicting as drugs? New research suggest that there are strong similarities between drug addictions and food addictions. The insight comes from addiction expert Francisco Leri. In his study presented at the Canadian Association for Neuroscience, Leri’s findings showed how foods how in high fructose corn syrup, sugar, and taste enhancers stimulated similar reactions in rats brains such as hard drugs like cocaine. So how does this relate to humans? Leri suggests that like cocaine, people may try it, but only certain people become addicted. The same holds true with food. Many people may eat food high in sugar, taste enhancers, and high fructose corn syrup, but not everyone is obese, which illustrates that not everyone has the same addictive traits.
Another study involving mice reported similar results. Mice were fed a diet of not so good food, think twinkies in human food, for six weeks. After the six weeks the mice were put back on a health diet, think kale in human food. The mice experienced severe withdrawal symptoms including anxiety and intense cravings. The researchers also noted that the food withdrawal symptoms brains of mice closely resembled the mice brains that were going through cocaine withdrawal.
In a human study, researches measure the brain activity of 48 healthy women who were showed a picture of a chocolate milkshake and then tasted the milk shake. Women with a higher potential to develop food addiction show heightened anticipation in the brain upon seeing food, yet their brains did not recognize satisfaction after trying to fulfill the cravings.
The takeaway is that researches are now finding that food addiction can be just as powerful as hard drug addiction. Just another reason to control what we put in our bodies.