(This is old news and was on CNN Health back in March 2010.)
However, I was reading an article recently on this topic and decided to do a little more research and found this CNN article that originally was in Health Magazine.
Basically, fattening foods are addictive. I'm not surprised.
A study in rats suggests that high-fat, high-calorie foods like bacon and cheesecake affect the brain in much the same way as cocaine and heroin. When rats consume these foods in great enough quantities, it leads to compulsive eating habits that resemble drug addiction.
Perhaps this is why there are so many people overweight/obese in the U.S.
In the study, published in the journal Nature Neuroscience, the researchers studied 3 groups of lab rats for 40 days. One of the groups was fed regular rat food. A second was fed bacon, sausage, cheesecake, frosting, and other fattening, high-calorie foods--but only for one hour each day. The third group was allowed to pig out on the unhealthy foods for up to 23 hours a day.
Guess what happened?
The rats that gorged themselves on the human food quickly became obese. But their brains also changed. By monitoring implanted brain electrodes, the researchers found that the rats in the third group gradually developed a tolerance to the pleasure the food gave them and had to eat more to experience a high.They began to eat compulsively, to the point where they continued to do so in the face of pain. When the researchers applied an electric shock to the rats' feet in the presence of the food, the rats in the first two groups were frightened away from eating. But the obese rats were not.
Apparently, our processed food is similar to cocaine -- white bread, corn syrup, etc.
No more high fructose corn syrup in our house! That means no more Mrs. Butterworth's syrup!