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Growing Evidence Finds Processed Foods and Sugary Drinks as ‘Addictive as Cocaine’

Anthony Gucciardi
November 7th, 2011
Updated 11/08/2012 at 10:08 pm
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candyhard2 210x131 Growing Evidence Finds Processed Foods and Sugary Drinks as Addictive as Cocaine

Not only are processed foods and sodas filled with high-fructose corn syrup detrimental to your health, but new research finds they can also be as addictive as cocaine. The findings reveal how junk food affects the brain, with consumers developing a dependency on the health-destroying food items. Furthermore, the medical research threatens the $1 trillion food and beverage industry that currently stands.

One decade ago, the topic of food addiction was barely on the radar. Today, the subject has gained major attention among the scientific community. This year alone, 28 studies and papers were published on the subject of food addiction, according to a National Library of Medicine database. What is truly shocking is that there is little disagreement between the findings — processed foods and sugar-loaded drinks are being found to be powerfully addictive almost across the board.

“The data is so overwhelming the field has to accept it,” said Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse. “We are finding tremendous overlap between drugs in the brain and food in the brain.”

It is bad enough that these food products contain ingredients such as mercury-filled high-fructose corn syrup and genetically modified ingredients, but the addictive qualities bring into question another level of ethics regarding the addictive qualities of junk food.

Processed Food Addiction Research to Spawn Campaign Similar to Anti-Smoking Movement?

As research continues to come out on the subject, a battle may soon ensue against the $1 trillion industry behind addictive junk food. The addictive qualities of junk food may also play a significant role in the skyrocketing United States obesity rates.

Just as with cigarettes, food companies producing processed junk may soon face consumer backlash similar to that of the anti-smoking movement. After all, the ingredients in many nutrient-depleted processed junk food products pose a risk similar to cigarette smoking. The mercury inside of high-fructose corn syrup could be considered even more deadly than cigarette smoking. Adding addiction into the equation creates even more cause for alarm. This creates a scenario in which many consumer activist groups and individuals may go up against the processed food titans, similar to how activists challenged tobacco companies over the negative health effects of smoking.

About Anthony Gucciardi:
1.thumbnail Growing Evidence Finds Processed Foods and Sugary Drinks as Addictive as CocaineGoogle Plus ProfileAnthony is the Editor of NaturalSociety whose work has been read by millions worldwide and is routinely featured on major alternative and mainstream news website alike, including the powerful Drudge Report, NaturalNews, Daily Mail, and many others. Anthony has appeared on programs like Russia Today (RT), Savage Nation, The Alex Jones Show, Coast to Coast AM, and many others. Anthony is also dedicated to aiding various non-profit organizations focused around health and rehabilitation as well as the creator of the independent political website Storyleak

From around the web:

  • Polly Pierce

    I sure hope talk shows and mainstream media pick up this story in mass. 60 minutes recently did a segment "The Flavorists" in which the word "addictive" came up. The flavor scientists interviewed said they strive for a super-boost of flavor up-front with a finish which is not too long in order to encourage the eater to go back for another bite! Why does everyone ignore MSG in these discussions? I eat no MSG and NO processed foods. I cook from scratch with all organic produce and meats to avoid processing of raw products. Guess what? No more food cravings without the flavor boosters since I gave up the last two fermented products in my diet (olives and vinegar). I eliminated MSG/glutamates to avoid sickness and ended up also ditching the food-cravings!

  • Jo Ann

    And, just like cigarette companies, these junk food companies KNOW that their "food" is addictive. I would not be surprized to learn that they add chemical ingredients that they know are addictive so that the consumer will be "hooked"…just like the cigarette companies did! After all, it is the bottom line that counts, NOT the health of the consumers.

  • David

    It's not surprising that processed foods are highly addictive. Even without the research studies, many people already have a feeling that they're addictive. Some people aren't able to stop eating these foods because the flavorings are so intense, and they're accustomed to these tastes.

    Processed foods have flavor chemicals that are manufactured by the food companies to specifically make us feel pleasure. As a result, people keep buying these foods and can't stop eating them. Also, people who eat these foods change their taste buds so that they aren't sensitive to other tastes besides sweet and salty.

  • Dave

    I believe it. They also contain MSG which has been shown to be highly addictive, an allergen, and carcinoginic.

  • Rait

    Should be illegal.