American Society Of Addiction Medicine

Better Essays

Some people crave crack cocaine or black tar heroin, they find it hard to put down the needle or pipe, society calls them addicts. What about the people who find themselves craving food, or needing to continually eat past the brink of the stomach’s capacity? Society calls them fat, lazy, gluttonous. People often times don’t think to consider food as an addictive substance, but is it? “Addiction is characterized by inability to consistently abstain, impairment in behavioral control, and craving, diminished recognition of significant problems with one’s behaviors and interpersonal relationships, and a dysfunctional emotional response” (American Society of Addiction Medicine). Food addiction is characterized by an insuppressible …show more content…

Now, in 2015, the number of searches and available information increased from ~334,000 hits to ~32, 200, 00 hits. The idea that food has similar addictive characteristics as drugs that affect the brain is quite controversial. People tend to eat when they are depressed, happy, emotional, celebrating and many other situations because food is easily accessed and not illegal. Research regarding sugar having addictive qualities was conducted in 2010 by the University of Texas and the Oregon Research Institute. Equipped with Haagen-Dazs ice cream and a group of overweight women, the researchers measured the brains reward center activity when shown images of ice cream and when tasting an ice cream milk shake; six months down the road, the group reconvened and the women once again tasted the ice cream. The results were that the woman who had gained weight over the time gap had decreased activity in the striatum, an area of the brain that registers reward, thus needing more to reach a feel good level of satisfaction (Langreth & Stanford, 2011). "The significance of this finding is that these are the same regions of the brain that light up in drug addicts who are show images of drug paraphernalia or drugs" (Wormer & Davis, 2013). Also in 2010, another study examined rats on whether or not rats showed addictive behavioral and brain function characteristics when given sugar compared to those of an addictive substance such as cocaine. It was documented that not

Get Access