So many of us are struggling with weight issues constantly and agonizingly, we all want to reach an ideal weight but the many temptations of junk food and sweets lure us into a different direction altogether.
While many believe that shedding a few pounds is mostly about self-control and willpower, this may be far from the truth. Studies have proven that processed junk foods are highly addictive, when they say highly they mean as much as drugs.
What’s surprising is that not only are the behavioral symptoms identical, but the biology is similar too.
Here are few alarming connections between junk food, sugar, and drugs.
Researchers in America have found that junk food like chips, hot dogs and burgers can push the human brain into yearning for more and more fat-laden junk food as well as sugar.
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At a research institute in Florida, an experiment was conducted on laboratory rats, during the course of the experiment, the rats became addicted to junk food just like a normal human would become hooked to heroin or cocaine.
Another study suggests that the human brain reacts, in the same way, to fast food as it would to drugs, both were found to make an individual impatient and both brought on irrepressible cravings.
A recent study by PLOS One Journal, reports that processed sugar present in junk food is as much as 8 times more addictive in comparison to cocaine! This means that a seemingly harmless candy-bar might, in fact, be more addictive than cocaine or heroin.
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The rationale behind the connection
Fast food is crammed with refined carbs that cause rapid fluctuation in our blood sugar levels. When our sugar level drops to a moderately lower point, it brings about angst, perplexity, and weariness. The high content of fats and sugar in fast food instills an impatient behavior and it also augments hyperactivity.
Junk foods fill our brain with dopamine, which is a hormone released while we eat food, it is discharged in a part of the brain known as the ‘reward system’. Now junk food floods the brains with dopamine in a quantity that is far more than prescribed. The same is found to be true in the case of using cocaine which also floods our brain with dopamine and then we crave to use cocaine repeatedly.
Another rational to prove the addictive quality of junk food is that in recent times people are using the same drugs to lose weight as are used to fight drug addiction. For instance, Contrave has recently been approved by the FDA to be used as a weight-loss drug. What’s interesting is that Contrave is also used to treat nicotine addiction and to treat alcoholism.
Isn’t it strange that millions of people who are dead against the practice of drug abuse are in fact themselves addicted; what if the drug comes in a takeaway box, an addiction is still an addiction?
The studies mentioned above were done as an effort to put a stop to this epidemic of involuntary drug addiction. The fact remains; there isn’t any elemental difference between drug addiction and junk food addiction.
Only the substance of abuse is different and there aren’t any stern social consequences of junk food addiction. Nonetheless, can we afford to ignore the consequences on our health and well-being?
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