Do We Really Need A Study to Tell Us Whether We are Addicted to French Fries, Chocolates, and Pizza

We eat different kinds of foods every day. But there are foods that really kick our palates sending rapturous signals to our brains. What are these foods anyway? Science has confirmed that for some it’s the coffee in their cups, the delightful donuts in the box, or those slice of chocolate cakes in the plate. However, for the majority nothing taste better than pizza, French fries and those chocolate bars.

Processed foods, that’s what they are, are created to put our minds upside down. The palate may have the sense of taste but the brain center in charge of it is also stimulated feeling that cool sensation as the food settles down in the mouth and slowly goes through the throat massaged by the undulating muscles. Every tastes bud takes a crack at it and are fully satisfied. Yes, they are addicting.

The University of Michigan did a pioneering research to analyze this thing that they called “food addiction.” Is there really such a thing? At least it was proven in animals. Studies before involving animals came with a positive conclusion that certain foods could provoke food addiction, at least in animals.

It’s not clear however whether highly processed foods such as chocolates, French fries, and pizza can produce food addiction in humans, said Ashley Gearhardt, U-M assistant professor of psychology.

Individuals with symptoms of food addiction reported greater problems with highly processed foods, suggesting some may be particularly sensitive to the possible ‘rewarding’ properties of these foods.

“If properties of some foods are associated with addictive eating for some people, this may impact nutrition guidelines, as well as public policy initiatives such as marketing these foods to children”, said Erica Schulte, a U-M psychology doctoral student and the study’s lead author.

This U-M study is just the first step towards establishing what specific foods and their attributes have the ability to create an addictive reaction. Researchers believe that this an excellent way in treating obesity.


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