Processed Foods Are Addictive: Study

 – February 19, 2015  –– 

Researchers have long suspected that some processed foods are just as addictive as hard drugs — but a new study shows that people jones for sugar-, fat- and salt-laden foods in the same way that druggies yearn for their daily fix. The University of Michigan and Mount Sinai Hospital study piggybacks on a 2013 finding that Oreos are just as addictive as cocaine — but that study was on mice. This one was on humans, who were given addiction questionnaires — but with food varieties swapped for drug types. "There is a biological basis," said Nicole Avena, assistant professor of pharmacology and systems therapeutics at Mount Sinai’s Icahn School of Medicine. "It can't be all self-blame on the individual."

- Nicole Avena, PhD, Assistant Professor, Pharmacology and Systems Therapeutics, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

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