A new study has shown that it may not just be greed and being weak willed that causes us to binge on junk food or high calorie food; it could actually be because we are addicted! An addiction that may be as habit forming as nicotine and cocaine, the study said!
The study was conducted on animals and published in the journal Nature Neuroscience , however it may well be helpful in explaining the phenomenon of binge eating and finding solutions to this.
In the study, rats were fed large amounts of high calorie food which was seen to trigger a response in the brain that was very much like addiction.
The rats were seen to become compulsive eaters following this.
The dopamine receptors in the brain also were found to be altered in the rats, in much the same manner found in people addicted to drugs.
In the study it was found that the group of rats who had unlimited access to high calorie food, formed a preference for it and gained weight very quickly.
Their reaction to danger was also seen as being muted; not responding to a stimulus that indicated danger. The rats continued to gorge on their food instead of responding.