Food Addictions Believed Similar to Drug and Alcohol Addictions

Food Addictions Believed Similar to Drug and Alcohol Addictions

A new research study has discovered that people who are impulsive are much more probable to have food addictions, and that this can become a dependence similar to drug and alcohol addiction. Researchers discovered that the same types of impulsive behaviors which cause some individuals to abuse drugs and alcohol could be a significant contributor to having a harmful connection with food. They found that people who suffer from impulsive temperaments were more expected to report having greater levels of food addictions. These are compulsive patterns of eating which are very similar to being addicted to drugs. Having this is related to obesity.

The chief researcher, Dr. James MacKillop, who is a professor of psychology at the University of Georgia, stated that the idea of actual food addictions really is a new one, and one that is causing a lot of interest. The doctor explained that his lab group most usually studies nicotine, alcohol and other forms of drug addiction, but that they believe it is possible to study about food addiction, being impulsive and obesity by using several of the same procedures.

Dr. MacKillop, along with his colleagues, are hoping that the research that they are doing will in the long run help other physicians and experts in various food addiction treatment areas the plans and involvements that can help obese people who have developed food addictions, and can help pave the way toward a healthier lifestyle away from addiction if possible. The study was printed up in the journal Appetite, and used two different gauges in order to determine food addiction levels and how impulsive the approximately 230 participants were. Researchers then linked these results with each of the individual’s body mass index. This measurement is used to figure out obesity.

The doctor stated that the research study discovered that impulsive behavior was not essentially linked with being overweight, but having impulsive tendencies can lead to the addiction of food. However, just because a person is impulsive does not automatically mean that individual is going to become addicted to food or obese, but having an increase in specific impulsive behaviors has definitely been linked to food addiction, which seems to be the motivating force behind having a larger body mass index. This is not something where someone else can tell a person to “just stop eating”. The person is suffering from an actual addiction. These results are among the very first ventures that have ever been done which are focused on the study of addictive eating and how it causes obesity.

Dr. MacKillop and his team are planning now to begin work on expanding research by scrutinizing the particular brain activity of addicted people as they are making decisions about what to eat. He explains that the food trade has produced a wide selection of eating selections, and foods which have high contents of sodium, sugar, fat and other additives. These seem to produce rabid cravings which are very similar to illicit drugs. The doctor and his group want to work to see how such powerful cravings become an addiction for some people, like drugs and alcohol do for others.

He stated that modern science has been able to help society understand how alcohol and drugs affect certain parts of the brain which have evolved to release the chemical dopamine and so produces a feeling of satisfaction or happiness. Finally science is actually realizing that specific foods also are able to commandeer these certain areas of the brain and also lay down the foundation for possible food addition and obsessive eating habits which are extremely similar to alcohol and drug addiction.

By Kimberly Ruble


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