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Jump to Ice cream as 'addictive as drugs' says new study Everyone knows that a spoonful of ice cream leaves you wanting more but research indicates that it may truly be addictive as illegal drugs. They found that the brain was left wanting more while eating ice cream in the same way as a person who regularly uses cocaine. Their study, published ceeam in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, appears to add weight to studies that people can be left feeling "addicted" to iice foods.
The volunteers completed standard food questionnaires about their eating habits over the past two weeks, including how often they ate ice cream. They found that the brain was left wanting more while eating ice cream in the same way as a person who regularly uses cocaine. They then looked at whether the volunteers who ate ice cream frequently showed less brain craem in the reward centres of the brain when drinking the ice cream milkshake.
Is ice cream really 'addictive like drugs'?
Where did the story come from? When we do things that support our survival, such as eating and drinking, the brain callev us a pleasurable reward sensation, reinforcing this behaviour and encouraging it in future.
The researchers also said that understanding these sorts of processes could help us understand how changes in the brain may contribute to, and help maintain, obesity. It also only tested one food, so the may not apply to other foods. How did the researchers interpret the ?
This, he said, was possibly due to the brain releasing lower levels of the chemical dopamine. Volunteers who ate ice cream frequently showed less activity in these drugg reward areas in response to the milkshake. They asked them how often they ate ice cream, and carried out brain scans while they drank either a tasteless solution or an ice cream milkshake.
As a result, they felt they had to eat more to enjoy the same feelings of euphoria. They also looked at whether body fat or energy intake from other foods influenced the response. What did the research involve?
What kind of research was this?
Each participant received both drinks in a randomised order. There are some points to note: The study only included healthy adolescents who were not overweight. The researchers had already conducted interviews with the teenagers, all of whom were of "healthy weight", about their Whxt eating habits and how much they craved certain foods.
The study found that all the participants wanted the real shake but those who ate the most ice cream over the few weeks enjoyed it less. Dr Kyle Burger, from the Oregon Research Institute, in Eugene, about miles south of Portland, said overeating "high-fat" or "high-sugar" foods appeared to change how the brain responded and in turn downgraded the mental "reward".
What were the basic ? Analysis by Bazian. While the us brain reward seen with frequent ice cream eating was reportedly similar to that seen in the use of addictive drugs, the study unsurprisingly did not directly compare brain responses to ice cream and illegal drugs, or their addictive potential.
They also answered questions about food cravings and how much they liked certain foods, including ice cream. The volunteers also had their weight, height and body fat measured.
Methamphetamine drug profile
Their brains were then scanned with a Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging Machine fMRI while being shown a picture of a milkshake before being given a physical shake. Dr Burger explained that this was the same reaction that a drug addict felt, because despite calleed cravings, pleasure that should be sent to the brain was being blunted. The researchers reported that people who are obese experience less of a response to food in the reward centres of the brain, which may contribute to over-eating.
Percentage of body fat, total energy intake, percentage of energy from fat and sugar, and intake of other energy-dense foods were not related to the level of reward response to the milkshake.
Their study, published online in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, appears to add weight to studies that people can be left feeling "addicted" to some foods. Volunteers were asked to eat their meals as usual but not to eat anything for five hours before the brain scan. When they analysed the fMRI scans, the study found the teenagers who had eaten the most ice cream had experienced a similar effect.
The researchers then looked at what happened in the brain during each drink, and whether this varied depending on how much ice cream the volunteer usually ate. It would have been interesting to see whether the reward response with tasting other foods, including less energy-dense foods, also diminished over time. It adds to studies that linked junk food and addiction. It should be noted that the study included only healthy teenagers of normal weight, and its may not represent overweight or older people.
Sources of funding were not clear. The study excluded any individuals who were overweight or had reported binge eating in the past three creak, as well as any who had used illegal drugs, took certain medications, had a head injury or a mental health diagnosis in the last year. However, it is not possible to conclude this from the study.
Cream Addiction and Abuse
The researchers recruited adolescent volunteers who were not overweight. Is ice cream really cgeam like drugs'? Its may not be representative of overweight or older individuals.
What kind of research was this?