Is Junk Food as Addictive as Cocaine?

Have you ever felt like you were addicted to junk food?  A shocking new study finds that this can actually happen. Apparently foods high in fat and sugar can be as addictive as cocaine or nicotine.  This addictive aspect of junk food can then lead to compulsive overeating and in-turn obesity.

I can certainly see how this could be true.  I know I have a terrible time getting off sugar.  It usually takes a solid five to seven days of no sugars before I feel like I’m not craving it.   It’s hard, but once I get over that hump, I always feel great. But it only takes one bite of a cookie, or one brownie, or one piece of candy, and I am right back where I started…seemingly addicted to sugar.  I may have been avoiding sweets for months without any problem, but that one “falling off the wagon” moment sucks me right back into the sugar craving.

Is it an addiction?

Webster Dictionary defines addiction as…

a compulsive need for and use of a habit-forming substance (as heroin, nicotine, or alcohol) characterized by tolerance and by well-defined physiological symptoms upon withdrawal; broadly : persistent compulsive use of a substance known by the user to be harmful.

Thankfully, I’ve never been addicted to alcohol, drugs, or even cigarettes…But I do have symptoms of withdraw when I try to stop eating sugar, and when I am eating sugar I crave more and more of it (even when I know it is contributing to weight gain, and negative affects on my health).  So I guess it does feel like an actual addiction.

Could finding that junk food is addictive have an effect on the crisis of obesity in our country?

It seems to me that this new study could have one of two outcomes for people.  Some may use this information to justify their overeating, and others may become even more determined to kick their habit.  For me personally, I will take this new information as an even stronger reason to conquer my addiction to sweets.

Does junk food kill?

Whether or not you believe that junk food is addictive, there is no doubt that these foods are contributing to life threatening diseases associated with obesity (and the alarming increase of childhood obesity).  When it comes right down to it…Junk food kills, and we should all be working hard to make healthier food choices and encouraging our families to do the same.

In today’s economy many people are making food choices based on the price, and healthy foods tend to be more expensive…But there is a very high price to the low cost of junk food, you could end up paying for it with your life.

Also See:

What do you think?  Is junk food addictive?  Are you addicted to it?

*image from photobucket

2 comments for “Is Junk Food as Addictive as Cocaine?

  1. April 11, 2010 at 10:51 am

    I think its addictive. But its not just the sugar, its the fat too. When I am addicted, I crave it in any shape or form, but especially in donuts. To go off takes months for me.

  2. September 10, 2011 at 10:54 am

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