Advertisement -- Learn more about ads on this site.

    SHERYLDS   49,431
40,000-49,999 SparkPoints

Is Junk Food Addictive or Not?

Voted Popular Blog Post: View All Popular Posts

Tuesday, March 26, 2013


Recent research has suggested that eating junk foods,
namely those edibles containing high amounts of fat, sugar and salt,
can stimulate parts of the brain involved in seeking reward and pleasure.
In other words, eating that pint of ice cream is addictive in the same way that nicotine or other drugs are addicting.

SOME experts say it is NOT addiction but food preference
That has us going back to junk food, again and again.

The rats that stuffed themselves with unhealthy foods gained weight quickly.
And When researchers applied electric shock to rats for eating unhealthy choices,
the obese rats still preferred junk food regardless of the pain.
When researchers removed the junk food option and
gave the rats a healthier diet, the obese rats refused to eat.
Those rats starved themselves for TWO WEEKS after
they were cut off from junk food.

{…kind of reminds me of ME as I was trying to learn how to eat healthy…
I was a slow learner … It took me a lifetime…}

But does that mean people are addicted to these foods?
The study said NO.
"Consuming certain foods is fine as long as they are consumed in moderation
and not all the time. To enjoy these things occasionally is reasonable.
That's kind of balance we need to aim for."


Personally …. When I eat one of my trigger foods
like one of my ice cream melt downs
{…admit it…you knew that was coming..}
It takes me about TWO WEEKS to recover.

Just call me Minnie Mouse

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Made bean soup with chicken and a variety of aromatic veggies.
Did some Zumba
all is good emoticon

Member Comments About This Blog Post:
ADAPTINGANNIE 7/26/2013 8:04AM

    Once that trigger is tripped the addiction kicks may be short term but it is intense! I think these addictions are worse than drugs and alcohol. You don't have to have've always needed food. Drugs don't present themselves thru ads in print, on TV, billboards, or signage. Off the rant now.
emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
EFFRAYECHILDE 4/19/2013 9:18AM


Report Inappropriate Comment
KAB7801 4/12/2013 10:17PM

    My junk food is chips! Very addictive can't have just one

Report Inappropriate Comment
FISHINGLADY66 3/29/2013 5:18PM


Report Inappropriate Comment
SHOAPIE 3/29/2013 5:05PM

    All things in moderation.

Report Inappropriate Comment
RACINGSLUG 3/28/2013 5:30PM

    I'm not sure if junk food is as addictive as heroine, but I do think it has addiction-like properties and symptoms. I'm reading a book about the processed food industry and food science and it's clear that scientists have isolated combinations of ''foods'' that are designed to make people crave more without being satisfied. Whether it technically qualifies as an addiction or not doesn't make the issue any less serious. I am learning to treat it like an addiction - in the sense of understanding why I have to stop even though it feels so good, removing myself from temptation, etc. It's arguably just as damaging to my body as drugs would be. I know some people point to food addiction as an excuse why they can't stop overeating, but I'm not looking at it that way. I'm looking at it as the reason I have to stop overeating.

So from now on, I really can't see it as anything other than legalized crack.

As far as moderation, their conclusion may be true but the reality is most Americans have no idea what eating junk foods in ''moderation'' really looks like. The average American, probably even the average dieting American, is so far from moderation they would probably feel that moderation was deprivation.

Comment edited on: 3/28/2013 5:33:31 PM

Report Inappropriate Comment
BLUEJEAN99 3/28/2013 8:48AM

    i wonder who paid those experts! emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
TERRI289 3/28/2013 7:43AM

    Anything with sugar in it does me in....sigh.

Report Inappropriate Comment
ILIKETOZUMBA 3/28/2013 2:22AM

    Interesting. I'm still inclined to think that there is something similar to addiction going on with that kind of food - maybe not in the same way/to the same degree as with true drugs like cigarettes or alcohol or heroin or whatever, but it seems to me like there is a similar mechanism at work. But this is an interesting article. Thanks for sharing!

Report Inappropriate Comment
ONLYTEMPORARY 3/28/2013 12:59AM


Report Inappropriate Comment
JAMER123 3/28/2013 12:28AM

    emoticon emoticon blog! So true!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
JUSGETTENBY42 3/27/2013 9:15PM


Report Inappropriate Comment
JEANNINEMM68 3/27/2013 9:02PM


Report Inappropriate Comment
JIBBIE49 3/27/2013 6:41PM


Report Inappropriate Comment
MARYJEANSL 3/27/2013 6:39PM

  Very, very interesting. Thank you for the link.

Report Inappropriate Comment
CORNERKICK 3/27/2013 6:32PM


Report Inappropriate Comment
NEPTUNE1939 3/27/2013 6:00PM


Report Inappropriate Comment
ALIDOSHA 3/27/2013 5:38PM

    emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
SERENAMOM45 3/27/2013 5:06PM

  Just think about it:
Junk food companies pay out a lot of money to advertising companies, market researchers, leaders of focus groups, etc to figure out just how to get a share of your stomach and to keep you coming back for more.

The sugar, fat, and salt are part of it, but so are all the chemicals mimicking flavors, scents, colors, and textures that keep us interested.

It seems to me that humans have been designed with taste buds and sense of smell and texture to lead us to eat real foods, but here we are, with fake stuff. Seems to me that junk food's real purpose is to get money out of our pockets, not to sustain our bodies, whether it is addictive or not.

That is reason enough for me to stick the closest I can to the food, whether plant or animal, as it comes from well-nourished and cared for earth, water, and air.

Report Inappropriate Comment
JOANNHUNT 3/27/2013 3:51PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
DIANNEMT 3/27/2013 3:40PM

    I do eat too much when I eat some foods. So--I stay away from them!! Best thing for ME.

Report Inappropriate Comment
BLPRETTYGIRL1 3/27/2013 3:23PM

    It is a constant battle. So easy to gain yet so slow to lose.

Report Inappropriate Comment
PATRICIAANN46 3/27/2013 2:06PM

  Hi Sheryl.........
There are certain foods that I have to totally avoid because I just can't eat them in moderation. It is just the way I am programmed. Am I addicted to them? Maybe........Maybe not..........but I can't have them near me and have learned to eliminate them.
Your beans and chicken sound wonderful. I have been craving beans lately.......

Report Inappropriate Comment
HEARTS116 3/27/2013 12:51PM


Report Inappropriate Comment
LIVELYGIRL2 3/27/2013 12:51PM

  well, well, you lit a fire here, didn't you??? Hmm... if it's addictive, then you think it's partially the food fault, right?

It seems as if it is. By eating it, you crave more. But I don't know if the withdrawal is the same... I think both we and society train us early that it tastes better. But perhaps it doesn't satisfy. That's why we feel yuck or hollow.

Didn't you ever eat candy or ice-cream. At first it tastes better and better. Then by eating more and more... eventually it tastes less ad less good.

My vote is more psychological than physical emoticon .

Report Inappropriate Comment
CLAYARTIST 3/27/2013 12:40PM

  emoticon mmm emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
LILLIPUTIANNA 3/27/2013 12:32PM

    I have to respectfully disagree with LOLAMOM2. Comparing an addiction to heroin to a craving for french fries is like comparing a swimming pool to the Atlantic Ocean.

Looking at cat pictures on the internet can give you the same chemical bursts in your frontal lobe as eating chocolate. That doesn't mean people are "addicted" to cat pictures? (Some of my friends may be...but that's a different story.)

The new DSM (which I am throwing a DSM release party for), only makes reference to binge eating disorders. The idea that "tolerance" can be applied in a clinical way to junk food, is pretty ridiculous. How would you measure a tolerance to Big Macs? Does withdrawal from Big Macs cause "physical symptoms such as stomach pain, shakiness or tremors, sweating, fever, chills, and headache?"

Are those withdrawal symptoms measurable and predictable?

If not...junk food is not a physical addiction. Psychological addiction maybe...but not physical.

Report Inappropriate Comment
ALISHAB3 3/27/2013 12:16PM

    Tomatoes are a fruit, not a vegetable. Silly congress, they can't get anything right.

Report Inappropriate Comment
PATTISTAMPS 3/27/2013 11:52AM

    That is interesting... I do believe that junk food IS addictive. And I hope I have broken the addiction, but it's not easy to do in a world where you have to eat, and somethimes that is all that is available (bitheday party for my 2yr old great nephew loast weekend). And then the craving is back. I wonder if there is junk food anonymous...

Report Inappropriate Comment
SUSIEMT 3/27/2013 11:38AM

    Good food for thought!

Report Inappropriate Comment
CHERIJ16 3/27/2013 11:05AM

    Exce emoticon llent information. Thank you.

Report Inappropriate Comment
CAKEMAKERMOM 3/27/2013 11:01AM

    The rats starved themselves, but it's not addictive? Seems conflicting and paid for by the food companies...

Report Inappropriate Comment


Report Inappropriate Comment
LADYCALICO 3/27/2013 10:51AM

    I worked in mental health and corrections for many years with more addicts than I could count and have no doubt junk food is truly addictive. I know we use the word addiction loosely for any behavior taken to unhealthy extremes to get a buzz--gambling, shopping, etc. --but I carefully avoid calling those behavioral obsessions addictions, reserving the term for physical addictions. If it causes chemical changes in the body and brain that causes you to crave more and more and makes you sick if you don't satisfy those cravings, that is an addiction, and sugary, salty, fatty junk food does that, just like cigarettes, alcohol, and meth.
I looked up the DSM's official definition of addictions, which involves very specific criteria for "tolerance" and "withdrawal" and junk food meets any all the parameters of what constitutes the American Psychiatric Association's definition of physical "addiction."

Comment edited on: 3/27/2013 11:07:30 AM

Report Inappropriate Comment
YULLABELLE 3/27/2013 10:29AM

    Junk food is addictive and unhealthy. They need to make fruits and vegetables available at a more affordable rate than junk food and then more people could afford to be healthier.

Report Inappropriate Comment
GRIZ1GIRL 3/27/2013 10:28AM

    Doritos sure are addictive for me! Guess you just never know...THANKS!

Report Inappropriate Comment
WORKNPROGRESS49 3/27/2013 10:04AM

    emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
SIMONEKP 3/27/2013 9:56AM

    food is absolutely addictive

Report Inappropriate Comment
PROVERBS31JULIA 3/27/2013 9:48AM

    I believe that many junk foods are addictive - the white sugar, white flour and HFCS seem to be worst culprits for me.

But ice cream? Hey now, no need to meddle ...

Comment edited on: 3/27/2013 9:51:27 AM

Report Inappropriate Comment
QUAIL75 3/27/2013 9:23AM

    It' seems like junk food is addictive! White sugar is one of my trigger foods. I can't eat it or else I won't stop. I've had great success since I've really limited it.

Report Inappropriate Comment
NEWMOM20121 3/27/2013 9:19AM

    Thank you for sharing. Really good blog.

Report Inappropriate Comment
DJSHIP46 3/27/2013 9:17AM

    Thanks for sharing... I do believe that artificial sweeteners are addictive.

Report Inappropriate Comment
APPLEPIEAPPLE 3/27/2013 9:05AM

    Junk food is additive. They make it that way to increase their profits.

Report Inappropriate Comment
JENNAAW 3/27/2013 8:59AM

    I believe that junk food, sweets, etc. are just like substances that people abuse; they affect different people in different ways. I think some people can get addicted to a dangerous drug right away, while others can basically walk away after trying it a few times. I happen to be one of the ones who cannot walk away from sweets and junk food, so the best course for me would be to avoid "taking" them.

Report Inappropriate Comment
TINY67 3/27/2013 8:49AM


Report Inappropriate Comment
BKNOCK 3/27/2013 8:42AM

    Great blog, so maybe not addictive but cravings sure are strong!

Report Inappropriate Comment
JIMDAB 3/27/2013 8:32AM

    I firmly believe potato chips are addictive. I avoid them like the plague.

Report Inappropriate Comment
SJKENT1 3/27/2013 8:23AM

    Isn't that something? Thanks

Report Inappropriate Comment
OFGREENGABLES 3/27/2013 8:23AM

    I don't know if it's an addiction, but it's a behaviour pattern I find very hard to break.

Report Inappropriate Comment
MIMIDOT 3/27/2013 8:10AM

    Interesting! Great blog!

Report Inappropriate Comment

Add Your Comment to the Blog Post

Log in to post a comment.
Member Comments Page (88 total):  1 2 Next >

Other Entries by SHERYLDS