Processed Foods linked to Food Addiction and Obesity


A recent study conducted at Harvard Medical School sought to find out why some people can’t lose weight, despite how hard they try.

Twelve overweight but otherwise healthy men were given two milkshakes, with almost the same amount of calories and similar tastes. However, one shake was high-glycemic and the other low-glycemic. High-glycemic foods are identified through the High Glycemic Index and contain a large quantity of starches and sugars, most of which are processed.

Results from the study indicated that the participants who consumed the high-glycemic shakes had a stronger appetite than the participants who consumed the low-glycemic shakes.

The research team also performed individual MRI testing on each participant and found that there was a strong activation in a part of the brain named the nucleus accumbens that regulates eating, craving, reward and pleasure.

Considering that many people are developing serious medical issues from obesity and related diseases, this study makes sense. Research has suggested that processed and refined foods are partly responsible for the alarming growth rate of obesity in the US.

Although more research is needed, this study makes an important claim that we need to take into account. More focus needs to be placed upon the theory of food addiction in relation to the brain. If sufficient evidence is found, additional forms of treatment may be discovered to help prevent and treat weight gain.

You can read here about the findings.