Do You Have a Junk Food Addiction?
Researchers at Yale, the University of Texas, and Arizona State University scanned the brains of 48 women using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) as the woman looked at pictures of chocolate milkshakes. The women had all previously been scored for food addiction tendencies using the Yale Food Addiction Scale (YFAS). While looking at pictures of the milkshakes, the women with high food-addiction scores showed more neural activity in regions of the brain associated with drug addiction than did women with lower scores. These regions of the brain are involved in anticipation and cravings. The authors concluded that “these findings support the theory that compulsive food consumption may be driven in part by an enhanced anticipation of the rewarding properties of food.” In other words, stronger cravings.
The study will be published in the August 2011 issue of Archives of General Psychiatry. Meanwhile, you can read more about it in the Science Daily article, “Study Identifies Neural Activity Linked to Food Addiction”.
Relevance to Natural Weight Loss:
Weight Loss Tip: If you are overweight because of addiction to unhealthful foods, then long term weight loss will, at a minimum, require that you learn better ways of coping with cravings. Preventing and coping with cravings are hot topics in current scientific research. I will discuss some of the findings of this research in future posts. Today’s weight loss tip: Keep reading this blog, and expect to learn something useful.