Junk food and cocaine pretty much the same thing: study

Junk food and cocaine pretty much the same thing: study

Jonesin' (Image: Alexey Krasavin) 

Science is perfecting the art of proving the patently obvious. A new study published in Nature Neuroscience recounts how lab rats that were fed bacon, sausage and cheesecake became dependent on the high-calorie goodies in order to feel good. The co-author writes that, much like other pleasurable activities (sex, drug use), eating can trigger the release of feel-good chemicals in the brain, which can lead to addictive behaviour. The rats that were given the high-fat diet also had access to healthy rat chow, but they ignored it. This all demonstrates two things that have been evident for decades to any pet owner who’s gone through a breakup: 1) fat feels good, and 2) the deliciousness of sausage transcends the animal kingdom.

Still, as Katherine Harmon warns in Scientific American, this isn’t the key to unlocking the obesity epidemic. Overeating should be on a longer list of factors, including genetics, eating habits, exercise frequency, proximity to Tim Hortons and access to Paula Deen’s body of work.

Junk food addiction may be clue to obesity: study [Reuters]
Addicted to fat [Scientific American]
Genetics in the gut [Scientific American]