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Junk food as addictive as drugs Jakab Andreea Lakatos Eszter Romanciuc Luminita CATB -2011-
Definition Junk foods are typically ready-to-eat convenience foods containing high levels of saturated fats, salt, or sugar, and little or no fruit, vegetables, or dietary fiber; junk foods thus have little or no health benefits. Adolescents attributed the following characteristics to junk food: high in sugar, fat and calories, bad for health, high in additives, fattening, lacking nutritional value.
Examples: • Potato chips • Soft drinks • Hamburgers • Pizza • Candy • Snacks • Gum • Most sweet desserts
Food Addiction Principles We are hardwired to be addicted to food: • Taste is addicting • Calories are addicting • The arousal of senses is addicting • Increased palatability of modern food is close to food “crack” • Drug addiction and food addiction are virtually identical. Treatment needs to be the same! • The more tasty food one eats the more you need to satisfy the pleasure center!
“The appetizer effect” • Snack Food is Arousing [Excitement] -Increased attention to stimuli • Snack Food is Pleasurable -It reinforces behavior • Snack Food is Filling -Quickly takes care of negative effect, but causes rebound eating! -The satiety ratio was higher for snacks than meals (short term) • Feedback from eating (snap, crackle and pop) enhances snack food reinforcement!
Similarities between junk food and drugs • Substance is taken in larger amount and for longer period than - a classic symptom by people who habitually overeat; • Persistent desire or repeated unsuccessful attempts to quit - failed attempts to keep a diet; • Tolerance - you have to keep eating more and more just to feel “normal” or not experience withdrawal;
Important social, occupational, or recreational activities given up or reduced - patients who are overweight or obese; • Much time/activity is spent to obtain, use, or recover - those repeated attempts to lose weight which take time.
Here are some of the scientific findings confirming that food can, indeed, be addictive: • Sugar stimulates the brain’s reward centers through the neurotransmitter dopamine exactly like other addictive drugs; • Brain imagining shows that high-sugar and high-fat foods work just like heroin, opium, or morphine in the brain;
Foods high in fat and sweets stimulate the release of the body’s own opioids (chemicals like morphine) in the brain; • Obese individuals continue to eat large amounts of unhealthy foods despite severe social and personal negative consequences, just like addicts or alcoholics. • Animals and humans experience “withdrawal” when suddenly cut off from sugar, just like addicts detoxifying from drugs. • Just like drugs, after an initial period of “enjoyment” of the food, the user no longer consumes them to get high, but to feel normal.
Super Size and Ingestion • Supersized Portions invoke the supernormal stimulus rule where scare and important environmental stimuli, if exaggerated…will increase our desire and, in this case, increase our appetite.
Super Size Me Movie It’s a documentary film about this guy, (Morgan Spurlock), who decides to make an experiment in which he must eat only McDonald’s food for 30 days. He is supposed to eat super sizes if asked. During the experiment he is supervised by 3 doctors and a nutritionist. After a few days he doesn’t feel so good ( he even vomits), the final analyses show that his liver becomes toxic, his cholesterol skyrockets, his libido sags, he gets headaches and becomes depressed.
Conclusions • New and potentially explosive findings on the biological effects of fast food suggest that eating yourself into obesity isn’t simply down to a lack of self-control. • "In some ways, you may have to view junk foods the way alcoholics anonymous views alcohol: one bite is too many, and a thousand is not enough"
Bibliography • “Adolescents, Views on Food and Nutrition”, I. Mary Story and Michael D. Resnickhttp://www.milk.mb.ca/Teachers/Images_Docs/Adolescents'%20Views%20on%20Food%20and%20Nutrition.pdf • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Junk_food • http://www.technicalproductsinc.net/PDF%20files/Why%20Human's%20Like%20Junk%20Food%20Part%20Twov4.pdf • http://drhyman.com/food-addiction-could-it-explain-why-70-percent-of-america-is-fat-2499/