A new study recently published by Yale University has found that fast food addiction stems from the same brain activity as drug addiction.
The research used an experiment which tracked the brain activity of women presented with a chocolate milkshake. The drink triggered activity from the same part of the brain that is affected when drug addicts are presented with cocaine.
Published online this week, the study showed that food addiction and substance dependency cause similar neurological activity.
The experiment involved a total of 48 young women, ranging in body types, who were presented with a choice of chocolate milkshake ad a tasteless control solution.
With a rapidly growing obese population and an increasing number of people around the globe suffering from obesity-related illnesses, the implications of this study could be far-reaching.
If certain foods – like with this study, where a food type with high fat and high sugar content was used – are addictive, then the way companies promote and advertise a product could be affected.
"If food cues take on enhanced motivational properties in a manner analogous to drug cues, efforts to change the current food environment may be critical to successful weight loss and prevention efforts," the study states.
"Ubiquitous food advertising and the availability of inexpensive palatable foods may make it extremely difficult to adhere to healthier food choices because the omnipresent food cues trigger the reward system."
The Yale University research is not an isolated topic. Last year similar findings were demonstrated by research at Scripps University in Florida, on this occasion, foods with high calorie-content were used with lab rats.
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