I’m going to talk about what addiction is dopamine which is a neurotransmitter and its role in addiction and food addiction some research on food addiction and eating behavior the results from animal and human studies on eating behavior using the addiction model how we measure food addiction in humans which foods are most highly addictive.
what’s addiction is characterized by three things bingeing on the substance to produce a euphoric effects a euphoria lift of mood feeling good and it’s thought that from bingeing on the subject up from that the substance the person develops a tolerance so they need more and more of it so they end up over consuming the substance they then the other characteristic is that they develop withdrawal effects when you take away the substance they will develop withdrawal effects so that they get a negative out effect they feel really unwell and then the other criteria for addiction is that the person has a preoccupation with the substance so that they are craving the substance.
the term addiction is often used synonymously with dependence so that dependence is compulsive and sometimes uncontrollable behavior occurring at the expense of other activities so other activities might be work or social relationships or physical and mental health, so substances of abuse activate release of dopamine in the in a part of the brain called the nucleus encumbers which produces euphoric effects and the circuitry that there’s no actual evidence that there’s a addictive personality it’s actually more biological.
changes that occur in individuals who overindulge on junk food until they become obese mimic brain changes seen in drug addiction agreeing to research published online ahead of print in nature neuroscience here are some facts about obesity in 2005 about 1.6 billion adults were overweight and at least 400 million were obese by 2015 an estimated 2.3 billion adults will be overweight and more than 700 million will be obese already a major problem in high-income countries rates of overweight and obesity are on the rise in low and middle income countries as well.
researchers place electrodes into the brains of rats in order to directly measure the sensitivity of reward centers of their brains they then they divided the rats into three groups based on their access to tasty calorie rich foods of the type that are readily available to most people the first group of rats had no access the second group had access for only one hour a day and the third had access for 18 to 23 hours a day during the 40 day study period the rats with the extended access to the calorie rich food grew to ingest nearly twice as many calories per day as the other rats and rapidly became obese at the same time the reward centers in their brains grew less and less responsive requiring increasing amounts of stimulation to provoke a response a similar pattern has been seen in rats exposed to heroin and cocaine the specific brain cells that were found to be less responsive in these rats have also been shown to be less responsive in drug-addicted humans today’s research suggests that over indulging in junk foods can be addictive in much the same way drug use can be addictive.
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