Thursday, April 1, 2010

Addicted to Junk Food?

A new study published this week in Nature Neuroscience adds to the evidence that food addiction is real and similar in some ways to drug addiction. The study of rats, high calorie food consumption, and obesity revolves around brain reward systems and what provides pleasure. The study’s findings are outlined in BusinessWeek.

“The results of this study could provide insight into a mechanism for obesity,” Paul Kenny, an author on the study and professor at Scripps Research Institute, said in a statement. “It’s possible that drugs developed to treat addiction may also benefit people who are habitual overeaters.”

Obesity-related diseases cost the United States an estimated $150 billion each year, according to U.S. federal agencies. An estimated two-thirds of American adults and one-third of children are obese or overweight.

David Zauche
Senior Program Officer
Partnership for Prevention


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