October 21, 2010

New Study: Sugar, Salt, Fat Biologically Addicting

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A new study may reveal why so many Americans are overweight: foods full of sugar, salt, and fat are actually addictive! I've always recognized I have a chocolate addiction, but for many Americans, this research explains why they might binge on an entire bag of potato chips or box of cookies. Dr. Hyman writes for the Huffington Post:
Our government and food industry both encourage more "personal responsibility" when it comes to battling the obesity epidemic and its associated diseases. They say people should exercise more self-control, make better choices, avoid overeating, and reduce their intake of sugar-sweetened drinks and processed food. We are led to believe that there is no good food or bad food, that it's all a matter of balance. This sounds good in theory, except for one thing...

New discoveries in science prove that industrially processed, sugar-, fat- and salt-laden food -- food that is made in a plant rather than grown on a plant, as Michael Pollan would say -- is biologically addictive.


For me, this research explains why the cycle of obesity repeats itself throughout generations and continues to expand greatly. Until grocery stores stock more whole foods, and the sugar, salt, and fat-ladened foods are few and far between on the shelves, the American addiction will continue. Dr. Hyman continues:
Environmental factors (like advertising, lack of menu labeling, and others) and the addictive properties of "industrial food," when added together, override our normal biological or psychological control mechanisms. To pretend that changing this is beyond the scope of government responsibility or that creating policy to help manage such environmental factors would lead to a "nanny state" is simply an excuse for Big Food to continue its unethical practices.

Photo:  Attribution Some rights reserved by Tobyotter

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Posted by Jennifer Lance at October 21, 2010 1:30 AM

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