Are some foods addicting?

 ice cream sandwiches

A recent study conducted by the University of Michigan and published in the U.S. National Library of Medicine confirms the suspicion of many: certain foods can be physically addictive. The study found that while not all foods can be associated with addiction, "highly processed foods, which may share characteristics with drugs of abuse (e.g. high dose, rapid rate of absorption) appear to be particularly associated with 'food addiction.'"

It's not just foods like cheese and chocolate that are implicated in the findings. Any foods that "share pharmacokinetic properties (e.g. concentrated dose, rapid rate of absorption) with drugs of abuse, due to the addition of fat and/or refined carbohydrates" can be addictive. The study bases it findings on participants' answers to various questions and on physical studies conducted in animals.  The study authors noted that "Rats with a propensity towards binge eating exhibit addictive-like behavior in response to highly processed foods, such as Oreo Double Stuf cookies or frosting, but not to their typical chow."

The top five potentially addictive foods are: chocolate, ice cream, french fries, pizza, and cookies. So the next time you eat an entire sleeve of Double Stufs or that extra slice of pizza, blame it on the food and not your lack of willpower.

Photo of Ice cream sandwiches for chocolate chip cookie lovers from Baking Bites by Nicole Weston

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