New Study Explains Why Junk Food Is So Addictive

/, Psychology & Mental Health, Uncommon Science/New Study Explains Why Junk Food Is So Addictive

junk food addiction“Once you pop, you just can’t stop” is the motto of a chips brand. And it is not just a slogan; according to scientists it is exactly what happens in reality: you only want to eat one thing, but once you started you can’t stop until you finish the whole bag.
A recent study by researchers at FAU Erlangen-Nuremberg explains what happens in our brain that makes it so hard to give up junk food.
This phenomenon is called “hedonic hyperphagia” and appears in hundreds of millions of people around the world. “This is the scientific term to describe excessive consumption of food not because you are hungry, but just for pleasure,”  explains the study author Dr. Tobias Hoch. “Recreational eating can occur to anyone at any given time. Chronic form of this disorder is a key factor in triggering obesity epidemic.”

The researchers conducted a study on rats that consumed three types of food: special food for rats, potato chips and a mixture of carbohydrates and fats. This third type of food was used as scientists consider that people consume a lot of crisps and chocolate because these foods contain more fat and carbohydrates than the usual food, and once they get in the body they send ‘pleasure’ signals to the brain.

Rats consumed three types of food in similar quantities. However, the scientists discovered that they ate chips in a more aggressive way, even compared to food high in fats and carbohydrates. Therefore, there is another element that makes junk food “irresistible”.

When the researchers scanned the brains of rats, it was found that they had changed, showing more activity in the centers responsible for reward and addiction and causing changes in the brain areas associated with food intake, sleep, activity and motion.

As a result of this experiment, the researchers believe that fast food addiction acts in two stages: dut to the will of the individual and then due to his brain funcion. “It is possible that the reward system of the brain is activated according to individual taste. In some cases it is possible that signals coming from the food are not strong enough to cause addiction,” said Hoch.

Now, researchers hope to find the molecules that trigger fast food addiction and find a method to prevent them from functioning.

The following two tabs change content below.

Valerie

I'm a law student who is fond of reading and writing about interesting topics on science (especially cognitive science and psychology), technology, and different extraterrestrial and paranormal stuff. I'm passionate about movies, travelling and photography.




Copyright © 2017 Learning Mind. All rights reserved. For permission to reprint, contact us.
By | 2017-01-13T21:54:15+00:00 April 17th, 2013|Categories: Human Brain, Psychology & Mental Health, Uncommon Science|Tags: , |0 Comments

Leave A Comment

Trending Articles

The Link between Sensory Processing Disorder and Anxiety No One Talks about

October 1st, 2017|

Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) is a medical disorder where the brain finds it difficult to organise and sort the information it is getting from our senses. Have you ever felt overwhelmed by your environment? Do sights, sounds, smells or textures sometimes exhaust you and make you feel anxious? You could be suffering from Sensory Processing Disorder. Our brains take in information from our five senses through our eyes, nose, ears, skin [...]

12 Struggles Only an Outgoing Introvert Will Understand

January 31st, 2017|

How can there be such a thing as an outgoing introvert. That’s absurd, right? Introversion and extroversion are terms popularized by Carl Jung to describe the different ways in which people direct their attention. Introverted people focus their attention inward toward inner stimuli, whereas extroverted people are more focused on the outer world and its stimuli. Extroversion and introversion are on opposite ends of a continuum, not separate personality categories. People [...]

New Study Explains Why Junk Food Is So Addictive