Why some foods are addictive
Scientists say that cornflakes, biscuits and soft drinks may be as addictive as cigarettes and may attract similar health warning requirements.
Scientists have found that foods with a high glycaemic index (GI) trigger an addictive sugar rush that can be hard to resist and leads to obesity.
New Zealand scientists reviewed evidence showing compulsive food consumption has similar underlying brain mechanisms that result in drug dependence, and argue that heavily processed carbohydrates have the most potential to cause addiction.
Lead researcher Simon Thornley, from Auckland Regional Public Health Service, said foods with a high GI caused blood-sugar levels to spike suddenly, and this sugar rush stimulates the same areas of the brain associated with addiction to nicotine and other drugs. Low-GI foods produce gradual rises in blood sugar and insulin levels, and a feeling of contentment and satiety. He said the theory, if proven, had important public health implications.
This is a summary of an article by Louise Hall January 13, 2009 in the Sydney Morning Herald
Adapted for byronbodyandsoul.com by Mark O'Brien