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Fatty Foods May Cause Cocaine-Like Addiction

CmdrTaco posted more than 4 years ago | from the you-ever-snort-a-twinkie dept.

News 507

WrongSizeGlass writes "A new study in rats suggests that high-fat, high-calorie foods affect the brain in much the same way as cocaine and heroin. The rats that gorged themselves on the human food quickly became obese."

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That explains a lot. (0)

dmgxmichael (1219692) | more than 4 years ago | (#31655818)

BUURPP!!

That happens when its BOTH high-fat and high-carb (4, Interesting)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#31655840)

If you consider what the most fast and junk food are:
pizzas, hamburgers, hot dogs, french fries, sandwiches, kebab rolls, baguettes, kfc's fried chicken, pan pizzas, nuggets and so on.. like this illustrative image shows [dropbox.com] .

It's not only high-fat thats the problem, but also high-carb. I never really crave for high-fat but low-carb food and my body feels a lot better with low-carb food. It's the combination of high-fat and high-carb that is bad, and leaves all the fat in your body because carbs burn first.

Re:That happens when its BOTH high-fat and high-ca (5, Interesting)

nattt (568106) | more than 4 years ago | (#31656014)

High fat is not the problem at all. Try gorging yourself on a block of good cheddar and see how much you can eat and how addictive it is. It's not. The addiction is all in the sugars, starches and carbohydrates in general.

Now to read the actual paper:http://www.nature.com/neuro/journal/vaop/ncurrent/pdf/nn.2519.pdf

"The cafeteria diet consisted of bacon, sausage, cheesecake, pound cake, frosting and chocolate" - in other words, full of sugar!!! Yet the news article says it's "fatty foods..." when in reality, it's sugary foods the rats were being fed, that fat being incidental. But of course, the sugar lobby is strong...

Re:That happens when its BOTH high-fat and high-ca (3, Interesting)

gclef (96311) | more than 4 years ago | (#31656208)

Bacon is sugary? Sausage is sugary? Granted, the cake entries are both high-fat and high-sugar, but saying all the food items are high-sugar is wrong. They are all high-fat, though.

Re:That happens when its BOTH high-fat and high-ca (4, Interesting)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#31656418)

A lot of sausages actually contain a lot of carbohydrates. If you eat sausages, you should go with the ones that are almost full meat. The common belief is that bacon is some extremely fatty food, but it really isn't if you don't mix it with carbohydrates. It's salty though, and that's not really good either.

Re:That happens when its BOTH high-fat and high-ca (5, Informative)

ratnerstar (609443) | more than 4 years ago | (#31656232)

Yet the news article says it's "fatty foods..." when in reality, it's sugary foods the rats were being fed, that fat being incidental.

No, it's sugary AND fatty foods that the rats were being fed. The summary ignores the sugar, but you're not being any better by ignoring the fat. When the rats get addicted to plain bread or just piles of granulated sugar, then we can talk about your theory.

Re:That happens when its BOTH high-fat and high-ca (3, Informative)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#31656234)

>>>the sugar [and fructose-added corn syrup] lobby is strong...

Fixed. So-called "sugar free" foods that substitute sugar alcohols like sorbitol aren't much better. It's still all sugar and still has fattening properties. (Also gives you lots of gas due to the alcohol.)

More specifically: The fructose half of the sugar is the problem, not the glucose. Plain-old corn syrup (pure glucose) is not harmful to the body, since it's glucose that the body's cells need.

Re:That happens when its BOTH high-fat and high-ca (3, Interesting)

ShadowRangerRIT (1301549) | more than 4 years ago | (#31656280)

To be fair, your body uses fructose too, it's just used by the liver, not by each individual cell. Too much fructose is a problem, but your body does need and use some fructose.

Re:That happens when its BOTH high-fat and high-ca (-1, Flamebait)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#31656420)

Really??? Why does the liver need fructose, and not glucose like every other cell in your body? To me your comment is akin to saying your liver needs alcohol every day.

Re:That happens when its BOTH high-fat and high-ca (0, Redundant)

sorak (246725) | more than 4 years ago | (#31656300)

Bacon and sausage are not "full of sugar".

Re:That happens when its BOTH high-fat and high-ca (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31656366)

the sugar lobby is weak (USA). That's why there is so damn much HFC in everything. It's the corn lobby that's strong

Re:That happens when its BOTH high-fat and high-ca (4, Insightful)

RebelWithoutAClue (578771) | more than 4 years ago | (#31656466)

No, the price of sugar is kept high due to trade restrictions for the US sugar lobby.

Re:That happens when its BOTH high-fat and high-ca (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31656380)

Try gorging yourself on a block of good cheddar and see how much you can eat and how addictive it is/quote?
You kidding?

I could eat so much cheddar that eventually would give the impression of me being pregnant.

I'll probably die from some cheese-related incident no doubt.

Re:That happens when its BOTH high-fat and high-ca (5, Informative)

Moryath (553296) | more than 4 years ago | (#31656074)

How about the HFCS question?

For fuck's sake, there's HFCS in just about everything we eat these days. After the recent study, I went through my pantry. Wanted to see precisely how much of the stuff it was in.

- Hot dogs? CHECK.
- Oscar Mayer "deli meats" for sandwiches? CHECK.
- Breakfast cereals? Almost universal. If it has "modified corn starch", that's HFCS under a disguised name.
- Salty-type snacks? Check. Even the supposedly all-natural pita chips.
- Anything from Chef Boyardee. Check.
- Frozen pizzas waiting to be heated up? Check. Turns out they add HFCS to the goddamn tomato sauce.

The list goes on but I think you get the picture. We're being fed HFCS EVERYWHERE and we just saw a major study done showing an effect on HFCS, either by brain chemistry or satiety reflex, causing obesity. If they were feeding rats the same stuff in their "fatty foods" (and cheesecake is OMG FUCKING FULL OF IT)...

Re:That happens when its BOTH high-fat and high-ca (2, Informative)

dfghjk (711126) | more than 4 years ago | (#31656150)

"...and we just saw a major study done ..."

Surely you could provide a link for a major study that was just done.

HFCS is the same as sugar. That's what's being talked about it the thread you have decided to post in.

Re:That happens when its BOTH high-fat and high-ca (5, Informative)

KingOfGod (884633) | more than 4 years ago | (#31656456)

Here [princeton.edu] ya go.

Re:That happens when its BOTH high-fat and high-ca (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#31656298)

>>>HFCS, either by brain chemistry or satiety reflex, causing obesity

You think replacing High Fructose CS with Sugar is better? Because it ain't.
  Sugar is also high fructose and therefore also fattening.

Re:That happens when its BOTH high-fat and high-ca (5, Informative)

wjousts (1529427) | more than 4 years ago | (#31656390)

Sugar is also high fructose and therefore also fattening.

Chemistry fail. Fructose is a sugar, but not all sugars are fructose. Glucose is not fructose.

Re:That happens when its BOTH high-fat and high-ca (0, Troll)

wjousts (1529427) | more than 4 years ago | (#31656412)

- Salty-type snacks? Check. Even the supposedly all-natural pita chips.

Why would HFCS conflict with the "all-natural" label in your mind? HFCS is natural. It comes from corn.

Re:That happens when its BOTH high-fat and high-ca (1)

MattSausage (940218) | more than 4 years ago | (#31656448)

which is exactly what a commercial for what is apparently a lobbying group for HFCS put in a commercial. It's from corn=it's natural.

Re:That happens when its BOTH high-fat and high-ca (3, Insightful)

Gr8Apes (679165) | more than 4 years ago | (#31656132)

High fats aren't the problem - high carbs are, especially the kinds in corn syrup and sugar (starches are a little less bad, but still bad overall).

Note that you need some, but not as much as you get in some of these foods.

Re:That happens when its BOTH high-fat and high-ca (1)

nih (411096) | more than 4 years ago | (#31656428)

No, the problem is consuming more calories than you burn, gaining weight is simple, just eat more calories than you burn, do the opposite if you want to lose weight, where the calories come from (fat/carbs) isn't important when it comes to weight loss.

Re:That happens when its BOTH high-fat and high-ca (1, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 4 years ago | (#31656166)

It's not only high-fat thats the problem, but also high-carb. I never really crave for high-fat but low-carb food and my body feels a lot better with low-carb food. It's the combination of high-fat and high-carb that is bad, and leaves all the fat in your body because carbs burn first.

High fat versus low fat ... high carbohydrate versus low carbohydrate ... the problem is probably better defined as incorrect portion sizing. High fat or high carbohydrate foods are only themselves the problem when you give them to a mindless animal that has a stomach evolved to pack in as much as it can when given to it. When you give a dog five pounds of bacon, it will eat as much as its stomach can hold. It'd do the same thing with a deer carcass but would more than likely get less fat and less calories in it. If our ancestors could sit around eating pizza all day, they'd do it. If they could have made white bread, they would have. Bacon tastes good because it's high fat and high calories. We evolved to seek these things out because they are -- in moderation or small doses -- quite good for our combustion engines. They're rare in nature but great for our energy levels so we crave them. No two ways around that fact.

I know why we blame fat, carbohydrates and foods that are high in them. It's because we don't want to acknowledge that the problem is our own self control and dietary understanding. Food science has evolved to give us whatever we want and we're just not responsible with it. Some regulation is necessary like banning trans fats when an alternative can be used but you're going to get nowhere if you try to focus on vaguely assigned designators as "high-fat" or "high-carb" food. Public awareness, responsible eating and self control are your best weapons here. Put the blame back on those that are responsible: the eaters.

We all evolved to like bacon and pizza and the like. Now act responsibly. In my youth I would eat a whole large deep dish pepperoni pizza. I can still eat that much, I just recognize that my caloric needs when it comes to pizzas is two slices for a meal. I understand some people have lower sensitivity dopamine receptors but that's just how you were born and you should deal with it. At some point we're all flawed in some way. Why do people find that controlling their eating is so difficult?

Note: if there's one thing the government should do, it's put capitalism back in action and remove the subsidiaries being paid out to ensure that corn syrup is cheaper than cane. Or that bacon is cheaper than a fish filet. Although it's great for the United States economy, it's had some very negative results on our belts.

Re:That happens when its BOTH high-fat and high-ca (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#31656350)

>>>Some regulation is necessary like banning trans fats when an alternative can be used

Also ban sugar and replace it with an alternative like High Fructose CS. Oh wait..... is this one of the unintended governmental consequences?

Re:That happens when its BOTH high-fat and high-ca (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31656414)

>>>Some regulation is necessary like banning trans fats when an alternative can be used

Also ban sugar and replace it with an alternative like High Fructose CS. Oh wait..... is this one of the unintended governmental consequences?

Your analogy is terrible. There's nothing wrong with sugar in responsible serving sizes. Eating trans fats in responsible serving sizes still drastically increases [wikipedia.org] your risk of coronary heart disease:

"On a per-calorie basis, trans fats appear to increase the risk of CHD more than any other macronutrient, conferring a substantially increased risk at low levels of consumption (1 to 3% of total energy intake)"

Show me that with sugar or HFCS and then we'll talk about banning them.

Re:That happens when its BOTH high-fat and high-ca (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 4 years ago | (#31656372)

Bacon tastes good because it's high fat and high calories.

Actually, no. Bacon tastes good partially because of the very strong smoked flavors, and partially due to association with eating maple syrup, a nearly pure carb. It also has a yummy crunch texture when properly prepared, like a carnivore potato chip.

If we actually enjoyed high fat/high cal foods, we'd guzzle grapeseed oil, and use crisco as a chip dip, and we would merely heat bacon hot enough to kill parasites, as opposed to frying until almost all the fat is rendered out into the pan.

I can almost 100% guarantee you have not tried a low carb diet involving bacon. One of the three almost stereotypical low carb breakfast foods is bacon. And it goes well as a lunch or dinner side item. Trust me, after a week of that you'll be repulsed by bacon. You will not devour five pounds of bacon in one sitting. Its the association with high carb white bread toast, or high carb maple syrup, or pure carb pancakes that makes bacon appealing. Also the association with almost pure corn syrup "ketchup" and high carb buns on a burger. Or super sugary salad dressings on a salad. My itself, ugh.

Re:That happens when its BOTH high-fat and high-ca (1)

pr100 (653298) | more than 4 years ago | (#31656236)

If you do any real exercise then you need a pretty high proportion of your total calorie intake in complex carbs . It's worth distinguishing between simple carbs and complex carbs, You don't really need much sugar in your diet, but you need a reasonable amount of complex carbs.

If you're a total couch potato you're going to have health issues whatever kind of diet you take.

Re:That happens when its BOTH high-fat and high-ca (1)

obarthelemy (160321) | more than 4 years ago | (#31656266)

I disagree about the Baguette, monsieur. It's just bread, not particularly fat, though with a lot of slow sugar. It's basically cereals, and in a healthier form that what you yankees eat for breakfast. But then, it has to be made daily, and also purchased daily by walking to the boulangerie du quartier before breakfast, which explains why you understand nothing about it :-p

Re:That happens when its BOTH high-fat and high-ca (1)

Jedi Alec (258881) | more than 4 years ago | (#31656378)

But then, it has to be made daily, and also purchased daily

Daily? The boulangerie was directly across from my place. I'd pop over when I saw the door of the oven open up, 2 or 3 times a day. Carrying them under one's armpit can be difficult when they're still hot though, but that's a disgusting habit anyway ;-)

Re:That happens when its BOTH high-fat and high-ca (1)

Aphoxema (1088507) | more than 4 years ago | (#31656454)

If you consider what the most fast and junk food are:
pizzas, hamburgers, hot dogs, french fries, sandwiches, kebab rolls, baguettes, kfc's fried chicken, pan pizzas, nuggets and so on.. like this illustrative image shows [dropbox.com] .

That picture strangely makes me very hungry...

Re:That explains a lot. (1, Funny)

kimvette (919543) | more than 4 years ago | (#31656098)

First post should have been OMNOMNOM!!

Re:That explains a lot. (5, Funny)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#31656302)

"A new study in rats suggests that high-fat, high-calorie foods affect the brain in much the same way as cocaine and heroin.

Like heroin and alcohol, food is so addictive that the withdrawal symptoms can kill you! Just say NO to eating!

To quote the great Bob Saget (5, Funny)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 4 years ago | (#31655846)

You ever sucked d**k for a cheeseburger?

Re:To quote the great Bob Saget (0, Troll)

Krneki (1192201) | more than 4 years ago | (#31655868)

You ever sucked d**k for a cheeseburger?

'nuff said.

P.S: Out of mod points.

Re:To quote the great Bob Saget (1)

siloko (1133863) | more than 4 years ago | (#31656038)

and as an addendum - the article authors have patently never tried cocaine - I like a cheeseburger as much as the next dude but to say that the hit is anything like cocaine is a bit like saying "I don't know what I am talking about - ignore me and everything I say!". And I know 'hit' is not a synonym for 'affects the brain' but if the implication is that the sensation of one is akin to the sensation of the other then the implication is wrong, and not by degrees either!

Re:To quote the great Bob Saget (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31656152)

Cocaine and heroin are nothing alike either. The author is probably some fat sedentary tortoise who cannot accept responsibility for his huge heaving bulk, and is looking for a fatty-tailored excuse that amounts to nothing more than "the devil made me eat it".

Re:To quote the great Bob Saget (4, Funny)

j00r0m4nc3r (959816) | more than 4 years ago | (#31655954)

Sucked duck? I don't get it...

Re:To quote the great Bob Saget (5, Funny)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#31656110)

It's the next step after kitten huffing. Just remember, kittens are a gateway drug!

Re:To quote the great Bob Saget (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 4 years ago | (#31656406)

Re:To quote the great Bob Saget (1)

gclef (96311) | more than 4 years ago | (#31656230)

No, it's sucked dork. You know you've reached a low point when you're willing to suck dork for your fix.

Re:To quote the great Bob Saget (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31655956)

Its a good point however if you could get cocaine/heroine for 99 cents, on ANY corner, in a drive through. If it was advertised on every nearly every billboard, if it was glorified on every commercial as a way to bring the family together or to just relax after a hard days work. If no one went to jail for making it. Then no one would to need to suck anything to get one either.

Re:To quote the great Bob Saget (1)

Joe Jay Bee (1151309) | more than 4 years ago | (#31656148)

The idea of cocaine or heroin being advertised as a way to get the family together is absolutely fucking hilarious.

Re:To quote the great Bob Saget (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31655958)

You ever sucked d**k for a cheeseburger?

Best comment ever.

Re:To quote the great Bob Saget (2, Insightful)

Jeppe Salvesen (101622) | more than 4 years ago | (#31656036)

Nope. And no-one would if drugs were legal and cheap.

Re:To quote the great Bob Saget (1)

Fieryphoenix (1161565) | more than 4 years ago | (#31656156)

Why don't you just type dick? You don't need to blank out words just because they have naughty connotations. Just the ones that have no clean ones. That is, if you're even censoring at all.

Re:To quote the great Bob Saget (1)

AP31R0N (723649) | more than 4 years ago | (#31656344)

Why would you quote Bob Saget who raped and murdered a girl in 1990?

Re:To quote the great Bob Saget (2, Insightful)

thijsh (910751) | more than 4 years ago | (#31656410)

Great paraphrase of a quote from one of the funniest stoner movies, Half Baked: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0120693/quotes?qt0426764 [imdb.com]

That was a real funny quote that actually got me thinking years back that cannabis might not be so bad as some people try to scare you into believing... Nobody sucks dick for weed, and nobody overdosed on the stuff *ever*... Sadly you can't say the same about fatty (or sugary) foods, the death toll is like 0 to a couple million. But I must note that there might be a slight correlation between the two caused by the munchies. :)

OK, so now... (5, Insightful)

nycguy (892403) | more than 4 years ago | (#31655848)

...I have just as much respect for fat people as I do for drug addicts.

Re:OK, so now... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31656060)

Right, because Fat people are responsible for the first fatty foods they ate given to them by their parents just like a drug addict, right?

You are probably some young punk who is thin without having to work at it. I was that way, once. 165 lbs ad 5'11" when I got out of high school. Well believe me, even if you work at keeping thin, it's still possible to get fat no matter what you do.

And if you can't have respect for fat people, try a little sympathy.

Your just pissed because fat people live longer. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31656164)

You just can't decide between looking "socially acceptable" and living longer. So you are pissed.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/07/health/07fat.html?ex=1352091600&en=df140405014189b6&ei=5090&partner=rssuserland&emc=rss [nytimes.com]

Re:Your just pissed because fat people live longer (4, Funny)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 4 years ago | (#31656436)

This is /.

The only place with less "socially acceptable" people is /b/.

Re:OK, so now... (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31656308)

not the same thing. drug addicts are usually slender.

fat people are all ugly all the time.

Which could explain why... (1)

stakovahflow (1660677) | more than 4 years ago | (#31655852)

I eat so much brisket. Cheaper and more legal than the "good stuff"...

Now, if only we could figure out this "World Peace" thing, we'd be set.

Oh, and cancer, too...

Cheers!

Re:Which could explain why... (1)

For a Free Internet (1594621) | more than 4 years ago | (#31656244)

What about goat turds? What about them, now?!?!??!!

Human food (5, Funny)

kiehlster (844523) | more than 4 years ago | (#31655876)

Oh, few... At first I read that as rats gorging themselves on human fat. Wait a minute... maybe the end of the world will come when rats get a cocaine-like addiction to eating humans. Everybody PANIC!

Re:Human food (1)

Vectormatic (1759674) | more than 4 years ago | (#31656026)

we have five pet-rats at home, we feed them left-overs from our meals in addition to the normal rat-food, and ever since we gave them some hot-dog bits (first meat we ever gave them), they have been a bit more eager to try and bite my fingers... the taste of flesh must have caught on..

This is your brain. This is your brain on drugs. (2, Funny)

unclepedro (312196) | more than 4 years ago | (#31655878)

Any questions?

Yeah, can I get mine over easy? It goes in the syringe better.

Re:This is your brain. This is your brain on drugs (1)

GaryOlson (737642) | more than 4 years ago | (#31656122)

From TFA

"... people learned to purify or alter cocaine to deliver it more efficiently to their brains... This made the drug more addictive.
... We purify our food...we eat corn syrup."

Can High Fructose Corn Syrup now be listed as a controlled substance and dispensed only by prescription?

Availability (2, Insightful)

kirill.s (1604911) | more than 4 years ago | (#31655888)

They are also much easier to obtain than cocaine and cost less.

Re:Availability (1)

HeckRuler (1369601) | more than 4 years ago | (#31656010)

First they came for the cocaine. But I was not a coke head, and so I said nothing
First they came for the Tobacco. But I was not a smoker, and so I said nothing
Then they came for burgers, but by then I was 400lbs. and couldn't leave the house.

But in all seriousness, I see this as gearing up for a fatty-food sin tax. Just as they are taxing and shaming lung-cancer out of existence, they're going to try and make the USA fit.

That's nothing compare to the News that (1)

viraltus (1102365) | more than 4 years ago | (#31655900)

Cocaine May Cause Fatty Foods-Like Addiction

Now the question regards addiction strength. (3, Interesting)

Spazntwich (208070) | more than 4 years ago | (#31655946)

Does this mean fatty food is "that" addictive, or does this perhaps mean cocaine isn't that addictive? Though I suppose the mere notion of shades of "addictiveness" can be dishonest itself, considering the binary nature of addiction (you either are, or you aren't, and exhibit a different set of behaviors based on that).

Also, I wonder if this study holds true for various other pleasurable inputs. As far as anyone knows, cocaine acts by causing direct stimulation of the reward center, a property shared by (as far as I know) any behavior the brain seeks to reinforce, including eating energy dense foods, so I wonder if things like bathing and receiving affection could also demonstrate similar "cocaine-like addictions," witness OCD handwashing and narcissism.

Seems like the scientists continue to find supporting evidence for the brilliant motto, "Everything in moderation. Including moderation." Except probably cocaine.

Re:Now the question regards addiction strength. (1)

russotto (537200) | more than 4 years ago | (#31655980)

As far as anyone knows, cocaine acts by causing direct stimulation of the reward center, a property shared by (as far as I know) any behavior the brain seeks to reinforce, including eating energy dense foods,

Cocaine causes direct stimulation of certain receptors within the brain associated with pleasure. Energy-dense foods cause _indirect_ stimulation of receptors. The problem with calling anything which stimulates pleasure receptors "addictive" (and therefore implicitly bad) should be obvious, unless you're an ascetic.

Re:Now the question regards addiction strength. (2, Interesting)

Spazntwich (208070) | more than 4 years ago | (#31656102)

I've been doing a horrible job of clearly making my implications lately, lol.

I didn't mean to imply any sort of puritanical value, or even to imply that something "addictive" is bad. If anything, I'd say any act someone enjoys can reach the level of addiction given enough other coinciding factors, and addictive behavior is rarely even the "fault" of the specific behavior but more an emergent consequence of a number of things.

I've been up all night and am now rambling. I hope I haven't said anything too stupid.

Re:Now the question regards addiction strength. (2, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 4 years ago | (#31656450)

Also, I wonder if this study holds true for various other pleasurable inputs.

Yes. All this research shows is that pleasurable stimuli are reinforcing. Fatty foods activate reward pathways in the same way cocaine does. But so does sex, gambling, shopping, video games, etc. Choose your poison.

mmm (1)

Ogive17 (691899) | more than 4 years ago | (#31655952)

My gf gives me a free pass to stop by Wendy's once a week so I can get my fill of a double cheeseburger. If they weren't so unhealthy I would probably get one every day. I do have a sliver of willpower left.

Re:mmm (1)

Vectormatic (1759674) | more than 4 years ago | (#31656050)

i saw this guy: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don_Gorske [wikipedia.org]

in "supersize me", he eats something like 3 big macs on average each day, but is remarkebly 'un-american' in terms of weight/size in that video. I think he claims it is mostly the fries that get you at the golden arches...

Wow, I think this was predicted on (0, Redundant)

NotSoHeavyD3 (1400425) | more than 4 years ago | (#31655962)

Married with Children in one episode where a character admitted to be addicted to pie.

Quick, start another government agency! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31655966)

We need a DEA-like arm of the government to enforce state-approved dietary behaviors.

Solely focused on consuming food... (5, Interesting)

plasticsquirrel (637166) | more than 4 years ago | (#31655970)

From the article:

They began to eat compulsively, to the point where they continued to do so in the face of pain. When the researchers applied 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. But the obese rats were not. "Their attention was solely focused on consuming food," says Kenny.

Assuming that rats and humans are somewhat similar in their responses, this paints a really sickening and embarrassing picture of fat people. Although they are harmed physically by their obesity, they continue at their own detriment. Maybe they really are like the obese rats who continue to eat food in the face of physical pain, when the healthier rats have been scared away.

Re:Solely focused on consuming food... (4, Interesting)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 4 years ago | (#31656384)

Assuming that rats and humans are somewhat similar in their responses, this paints a really sickening and embarrassing picture of fat people. Although they are harmed physically by their obesity, they continue at their own detriment. Maybe they really are like the obese rats who continue to eat food in the face of physical pain, when the healthier rats have been scared away.

There might be some other interpretations as well. For example, if the brain chemistry provides such a powerful compulsion, then my sympathy for people in this category goes up, because leaving a donut in the box might be as hard as a coke addict leaving a line on the table.

Or maybe the obese rates are those that had no self-control to start out with. If that's the case, the severe obesity might simply be a visible indicator of a very real character flaw. (Although I have serious questions about the meaning of "moral failure", if brain chemistry determines a person's actions.)

Yeah, I can see that... (2, Interesting)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 4 years ago | (#31655972)

They taste a lot better most of the time than stuff that is good for you without qualification. That keeps your brain cookin with pleasure-inducing chemistry.

The one thing about these foods that I don't agree with is that the poor need to eat them because they can't afford food that is good for them. That's a load of rubbish. My wife has been able to buy enough good, canned vegetables like beans, chickpeas and corn to feed a family of four for at least a week for $50. You can do a lot with those staples if you try.

Cocaine may cause fatty food-like addiction (1)

mbone (558574) | more than 4 years ago | (#31655994)

There, CNN, fixed your headline for you.

In Other News (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31656034)

Scientists find that cocaine may cause cocaine-like addiction!

So now.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31656052)

Now that we've shown that cocaine is only as bad as Burger King, can I finally get a double cheese burger, hold the lettuce, add 1g of coke?

Funny... (4, Insightful)

brian0918 (638904) | more than 4 years ago | (#31656070)

Funny, I lost 40 lbs eating high-fat low-carb food, purposely not exercising, and eating whenever I was hungry. And my blood pressure went down to normal from its high of 145/95, so I could stop taking blood pressure medication as well. I'm healthier than I've ever been.

Of course, unlike these rats, I did not eat cheesecake, frosting or other foods high in refined carbs. But this POS study doesn't bother to differentiate between high-fat/high-carb, high-fat/low-carb, etc, let alone about the balance or type of fatty acids present in the food (e.g. grass-fed bacon vs. grain-fed). This is not science, not even close.

Re:Funny... (5, Interesting)

erroneus (253617) | more than 4 years ago | (#31656272)

Low carb diet is the best diet for losing weight because it works with the body's systems. Carbs are the primary fuel. Take away the primary and it goes to secondary. Be aware of the risks of organ damage and aware of what you intake and you will be fine.

Problem with the low-carb diet is that it is hard to maintain. HARD to maintain. All casual foods are ridiculously high in carbs. Still, when you can do it, it works every time and works extremely well.

You think kicking food is hard, try sleep! (1, Funny)

BetterSense (1398915) | more than 4 years ago | (#31656104)

I believe the article...food is very addictive. I try and try, but still I keep coming back for food. It's a very persistent addiction. When I try to quit, I get cravings that manifest themselves as dizzyness and gnawing pain in my abdomen. Seemingly the only way to stop the torment is to cave in and eat food. Water is difficult too; I try to tell myself that I don't need it and don't want it anymore but when I finally cave and have a drink of water it feels so refreshing going down that it's like ecstasy. It's that satiated, comfortable and full feeling that keeps me crawling back to the Brita pitcher. But an addiction even worse than food or drink is sleep. No matter how hard I try, I just can't seem to kick the habit. I always seem to doze off eventually, craving the sweet solitude of REM and the rested afterglow. I have a long way to go but one day hope to be addiction-free.

Re:You think kicking food is hard, try sleep! (2, Funny)

Wolvenhaven (1521217) | more than 4 years ago | (#31656212)

Your chemical dependence on dihydrogen monoxide sickens me. It kills thousands of people every year, can't you see how horrible it is?

Re:You think kicking food is hard, try sleep! (1)

stupid_is (716292) | more than 4 years ago | (#31656346)

You are probably not practised enough in the art [wikipedia.org]

Fas is fat (1)

VincenzoRomano (881055) | more than 4 years ago | (#31656108)

As long as you fit within mammals' metabolism (maybe also the Chordate's), the more fats you eat, the fatter you become.

Duh. Biologically We've Still In The Savannah. (2, Insightful)

Ukab the Great (87152) | more than 4 years ago | (#31656120)

Millions of years of evolution makes animals crave high calorie fatty food and eat as much of it as possible, because they never know when they're going to get the opportunity to do so again. Human beings are no different.

gotta love the footer fortune (1)

rarel (697734) | more than 4 years ago | (#31656124)

Talk about relevance !

Loud burping while walking around the airport is prohibited in Halstead, Kansas.

Why I am not surprised ? Oh... (1)

o'reor (581921) | more than 4 years ago | (#31656134)

Watch the online documentary Supersize me ! [google.com] and see (and hear) Morgan Spurlock describe the addictive effects of sugar-rich and fatty food....

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Super_Size_Me [wikipedia.org]

Re:Why I am not surprised ? Oh... (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 4 years ago | (#31656432)

Of course this is an unrealistic experiment. He made some rather silly assumptions.
1. He will take a Super Sized if the teller asked him. Which is rather stupid for 1 I doubt most food service workers are that good at sales to really sell people food that they don't want. 2 if you are not that hungry you will say no.
2. He ate the food even when he didn't feel like eating it. Even when someone likes to eat unhealty food they get tired of it and will try to eat something healthy just because their body is out of balance.

Article Title Misleading (1)

xaerius (1778370) | more than 4 years ago | (#31656140)

The title of this article suggests that it is the fat in these foods that causes the addictive response, however, this study did not isolate foods as merely high-fat. The diet included many foods, such as cheesecake, which included high levels of sugar. Sugar has been found to be more addictive than cocaine on its own. It is likely that the fat+sugar combination has a synergistic addictive effect, however, anyone who has been on a low carbohydrate diet can tell you that fat on its own actually suppresses appetite and does not cause cravings. Sugar addiction study: http://www.plosone.org/article/fetchArticle.action?articleURI=info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0000698 [plosone.org]

Super Size Me... (2, Interesting)

operand (15312) | more than 4 years ago | (#31656172)

In the Documentary Super Size Me, several Doctor's noted the same behavior and stated that Fatty Foods found in Fast Food restaurants (McDonald's in this example) were equal to cocaine in terms of addiction.

I can't compare... (3, Interesting)

Akido37 (1473009) | more than 4 years ago | (#31656198)

But eating junk food produces a high, a euphoric feeling sometimes. I suppose that's why some foods are called "comfort food".

I can't compare to drug addiction, because I've never experienced that, but a high is definitely present.

Sometimes, with my tinfoil hat on, I've wondered if Taco Bell was slipping something addictive into the food that makes me keep coming back.

Reward System (1)

mindbrane (1548037) | more than 4 years ago | (#31656214)

There's a Wikipedia article on the brain's reward system [wikipedia.org] . I've not read the Wiki article but have tried to grasp some of the Berkeley, mit, Yale uni online lectures that speak to it. The problem I had with trying to understand it in general terms is that the system itself isn't fully understood and, for a lay person like myself, it seems there's no difference in the mechanics between the motivations and rewards of a crack whore and a CEO, but that may just be the way it is. What seems to come into play is the executive planning functions [wikipedia.org] of the brain and whether they act as a damper to limit a runaway reward system. The Executive Functions seem to reside in the frontal lobes and usually the sad story of Phineas Gage [wikipedia.org] is trotted out to model loss of Executive Function. If this post gets modded up a lot I'll post some more :) well maybe if I'm sure I'll get modded up even more and more...

In other news.... (1)

Xenious (24845) | more than 4 years ago | (#31656228)

People want to eat food that is tasty....film at 11.

Simple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31656314)

Simple way to fix this addiction... Lets outlaw food in America after all it is a gateway drug... People are dying from being obese, and obviously they are getting high from it, and we do not like anything that gives anyone else but ourselves pleasure. Support outlawing food!!!

Headlines like that are not helping obese people (2, Interesting)

_Spirit (23983) | more than 4 years ago | (#31656316)

I think this is another case where the media turn something that might be good: increased understanding of how obesity works, into something bad: telling obese people that they have no control over their behaviour, fueling the "it's no my fault, I have a serious illness" justification for doing nothing to help themselves.

It's more neurological than genetic... (1)

Temujin_12 (832986) | more than 4 years ago | (#31656320)

As we come to understand more and more about neurology and genetic, an increasing amount of studies on human obesity are shifting from a genetic focus to a neurological focus.

Dr. David Kessler, former FDA commissioner and someone who has struggled with weight in his own life, has an excellent book out called The End of Overeating: Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite [amazon.com] . NPR [wbur.org] has done some very good interviews with him.

He admits that he started his study expecting to head down the road of genetics. But he found the research and data kept pointing him to the brain instead. One interesting tidbit from his research: They did a study where they had a group of people, some overweight and some normal weight, and asked each person to identify their favorite snack or dessert. They would then place each person individually in a room with large portions of their favorite food. What they found was that everybody, upon seeing their favorite snack/dessert, had the same neurological response (endorphin-like response). But what was interesting was that for those who weren't overweight this response ended after they ate enough to be filled. For those who were overweight, they found that the brain didn't stop producing this response until the food was completely gone.

Dr. Kessler, as well as many more scientists, are starting to focus more on obesity from a sociological and behavioral angle than a genetic angle. He keeps mentioning how obesity has more to do with the relationship people have with food than anything else (and focuses a lot on what kind of relationship we are teaching our children to have with food).

Of course, genetics are still important. But not as much as we've initially thought it to be.

Rats that gorged themselves on human food! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31656322)

Different critters have different dietary needs.

Dogs who gorge themselves on cat food quickly become obese (more so than dogs who stick to dog food).

I really don't think a rat study of human food consumption proves much per se.

Anyone else worry about junk science like this? (1)

unkaggregate (855265) | more than 4 years ago | (#31656342)

Okay, so rats gorged themselves on fatty sugary food. Fine, but I worry when junk scientists try to equate that to hard drugs, because you just know sooner or later that will be picked up by someone who needs an excuse to ban this or that. How much do you want to bet within 4 years some politician will pick this up and use it to push a law banning some kind of fatty food? After all, this study says that they're addictive just like that evil cocaine!

Just a comment on the recent trend of lawmaking...

No study needed to show this (1)

smooth wombat (796938) | more than 4 years ago | (#31656364)

All these folks had to do was walk around where I work. If you look at those who are obese, you will also find their drawers stuffed with all kinds of boxed goodies, usually chips and the like.

These are the same people who also refuse to walk up one flight of stairs so the two go hand-in-hand.

Addiction to Facebook/Twitter Too? (2, Interesting)

mim (535591) | more than 4 years ago | (#31656402)

Is there really a cure for *anything* that's addictive for "everyone"? (pls note the links at the end of the article) http://www.cnn.com/2010/HEALTH/03/28/fatty.foods.brain/ [cnn.com]
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