London: Though not many may find it easy to avoid biting into a chocolate, a study has found chocolates cause an effect on the brain similar to that of opium.
Findings of the research by Alexandra DiFeliceantonio of the University of Michigan and her team, published in the US journal Current Biology, have also thrown light upon many comparisons between obese people and drug addicts, Daily Mail reported.
In the study, a natural brain chemical called enkephalin -- an endorphin with similar properties to opium -- surged as rats began to eat M&M chocolates.
When a drug was used to stimulate the brain area releasing the chemical, the number of M&Ms eaten more than doubled.
Study leader DiFeliceantonio said the extraordinary findings showed comparisons between and drug addicts and the obese.
"This (study) means that the brain has more extensive systems to make individuals over-consume rewards than previously thought. The same brain area tested here is active when obese people see foods and when drug addicts see drug scenes," she said.