The Addictiveness of Processed Foods

Bloomberg reports:

Cupcakes may be addictive, just like cocaine.

A growing body of medical research at leading universities and government laboratories suggests that processed foods and sugary drinks made by the likes of PepsiCo Inc. and Kraft Foods Inc. (KFT) aren’t simply unhealthy. They can hijack the brain in ways that resemble addictions to cocaine, nicotine and other drugs.

“The data is so overwhelming the field has to accept it,” said Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse. “We are finding tremendous overlap between drugs in the brain and food in the brain.”

I’ve got to admit, I was skeptical to say the least when Dr. Neal Barnard first starting talking about this about a decade ago. But it looks like he’s in the process of being vindicated, and that food companies may well soon be seen as the purveyors of addictive products, just like tobacco companies.

Addiction is such a loaded word, but it’s looking as though dependency on processed foods is as real and tough to overcome as alcoholism—and probably vastly more widespread. (Thanks, Carrie.) Link.