Addiction to high calorie fat rich food: likened to cocaine and heroin addiction

October 12, 2015

"We make our food very similar to cocaine now," he says. He says that just like cocaine that was initially made from coca leaves and has been distilled to its present state where it can be smoked or inhaled, food is similarly processed from its primitive form.

"We purify our food," he says. "Our ancestors ate whole grains, but we're eating white bread. American Indians ate corn; we eat corn syrup."

The ingredients in purified modern food cause people to "eat unconsciously and unnecessarily," and will also prompt an animal to "eat like a drug abuser [uses drugs]," says Wang.

Role of Dopamine a chemical in the brain is emphasized in addiction in humans and animals. The study has found that a drop in dopamine receptors in brain of obese rats is similar to that in humans who are addicted to drugs or are obese.

Wang also says that the results of this study conducted on animals may not always be applicable to humans.

"You can't mimic completely human behavior, but [animal studies] can give you a clue about what can happen in humans," Wang says.

However Kenny says that drug development for de-addiction may have a potential role in obesity and compulsive overeating. With obesity and related complications lead to an annual expenditure of $150 billion with nearly two thirds of American adults and one third of children are obese or overweight this might open new avenues for research and not just a new warning to all compulsive eaters.