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Potato chips and donuts are as addictive as cocaine


By Lynn C. Allison From Newsmax

new study reveals that foods that most Americans consume daily are as addictive as illegal drugs. Researchers found that fatty and sugar-rich foods are as addictive as nicotine and cocaine, and even more so than heroin, according to NewsNation.

The study, published in the British Medical Journal, found that an estimated 14% of adults and 12% of children are addicted to ultra-processed foods that include refined sugar and fats. The criteria used to measure addiction was drawn from the Yale Food Addiction Scale and includes diminished control over intake, cravings, withdrawal and continued use despite negative consequences.

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The scientists found that the foods most likely to trigger addictive responses were refined carbohydrates or fats that produced similar levels of dopamine in the brain as addictive substances such as nicotine and alcohol. These ultra-processed foods include ice cream, potato chips, donuts, biscuits, sausage, soft drinks, and sugary cereals.

“What really makes this dangerous is this addiction we have to ultra-processed foods. And these are foods that contain chemicals, emulsifiers, artificial colors,” said Dr. Daniel Bober, a Florida-based addiction expert. “They also contain refined sugars and just the right amount of salt, sugar and fat to be highly reinforced, which can lead some people to engage in compulsive eating.”

Experts say that because obesity is an epidemic in America, it is fair to compare the addictive properties of these foods and their potential harm with illegal substances such as cocaine and heroin.

“We want a hit, and we want it fast,” Bober says. Whether it’s from cocaine, food, shopping, it all has one thing in common. And that is using compulsive behavior to deal with uncomfortable feelings like loneliness, depression, isolation. It’s something we need to look at because it’s part of our culture.”

“Ultra-processed foods high in refined carbohydrates and added fats are highly rewarding, appealing, and consumed compulsively and may be addictive,” wrote the study authors. “Understanding of these foods as addictive could lead to novel approaches in the realm of social justice, clinical care, and policy approaches.”

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