A recent study from Scripps Research documents that the brain responds to junk food the same way that it does to heroin. Apparently obesity and drug addiction have common neurobiological underpinnings.
At least in rats. One group of rats was fed a broad range of processed food, from bacon and cheesecake to Ho Hos, while another group received “high-nutrient, low-calorie chow.” There was an immediate difference: The rats that ate junk food developed compulsive eating habits and became obese. Not only that, but they became so addicted to junk food that “they were willing to tolerate electric shocks if that’s what it meant to keep eating the stuff.”
If eating junk food really is an addiction, where does that leave policies calling for more consumer “choice” in eating healthy foods? We ban heroin. Why not Ho Hos?