10/18/2010 8:00 PM ET |
Filed under: Food
A recent study in rats showed that high calorie foods affect the brain in the same way heroin and cocaine do.
Doing drugs and eating too much junk food both overload the pleasure centers in the brain. Eventually they crash, then being able to achieve the same pleasure, or just feel normal, results in increasing amounts of the drug or food.
In the recent study done, three groups of lab rats were studied for 40 days. One group was given regular food, the other group was given fattening, high-calorie foods, but only for one hour each day. The third group was given the unhealthy foods for up to 23 hours a day.
The rats that ate only junk food, obviously became obese, but their brains changed as well.
It turns out that they gradually developed a tolerance to the pleasure the food gave them and had to eat more to experience a high. They would compulsively eat!
When the researchers gave an electric shock to the rats' feet in the presence of the food, the rats in the first two groups were frightened away from eating. The obese rats were not. They only focused on eating ore and more.
According to researchers, even though the study was done on rats, the findings could possibly lead to new treatments for obesity.
Wow! This is very interesting.
What do U think??
[Image via AP Images.]
Tags: drugs, health, junk food, obesity