The brain’s response to the tempting appeal of a sugary, fatty milkshake or to a bag of salty, greasy snack chips appears to be the same response a drug addicts brain exhibits when anticipating the next “hit,” suggests a new study published in the journal Archives of General Psychiatry. Ashley Gearhardt of Yale University and her colleagues found that the addictive nature of many junk foods is literally the same as the addictive nature of drugs.
The team analyzed the brains of a group of 48 young women, who were tempted with either a chocolate milkshake or a tasteless beverage solution. Based on data gathered using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), the team discovered that the women’s anterior cingulated cortex and the medial orbit frontal cortex — two areas of the brain known to respond to drug addiction — both responded to sensory cravings for the milkshake, regardless of the women’s weight.
“If certain foods are addictive, this may partially explain Continue reading