Do you crave something sweet and sugary right after lunch? Do you dream of chewy pizzas or a bag full of chips on Friday evenings? You're not alone! A team of researchers from the University of Michigan and Columbia University's New York Obesity Research Center found that certain foods share several traits with abusive drugs and can be addictive.
For the first study, researchers surveyed the response of 120 undergraduates that completed the Yale Food Addiction Scale (YFAS) followed by a questionnaire of sorts where out of 35 foods they had to pick the ones that were most associated with addictive-like eating behaviours. And in the second study, 398 people were recruited to complete a survey about eating behavior.
In the study, researchers described food addiction as:
"Food addiction" is characterized by symptoms such as loss of control over consumption, continued use despite negative consequences, and an inability to cut down despite the desire to do so. Addictive-like eating has been associated with increased impulsivity and emotional reactivity, which are similarly implicated in substance-use disorders. Thus, "food addiction" may share common behavioral attributes with other addictive disorders.
Here's a list of the foods, starting from the most addictive and working its way down:
2. Ice Cream
3. French Fries
Researchers found that processing, the quantity of refined carbohydrates and the rapid speed at which they are absorbed into the system are the most significant predictor of whether a particular food is associated with behavioral indicators of addictive-like eating. The study also found that foods with a high GL were especially related to addictive-like eating problems for individuals endorsing elevated symptoms of 'food addiction'.
With inputs from PTI