London: Gorging on junk food is as
addictive as smoking or taking drugs and can cause compulsive
eating and obesity, says a new study.
An international team, led by the Scripps Research
Institute in Florida, has carried out the study and found that
burgers, chips and pizzas can well programme one`s brain into
craving even more sugar, salt and fat laden food.
Dr Paul Kenny, who led the study, said the findings,
which took three years to complete, confirmed the "addictive"
properties of junk food -- in fact, like addiction to other
substances, junk food bingeing is extremely difficult to stop.
He was quoted by `The Daily Telegraph` as saying,
"Obesity may be a form of compulsive eating. Other treatments
in development for other forms of compulsion, for example drug
addiction, may be very useful for the treatment of obesity.
"The new study explains what happens in the brain
of these animals when they have easy access to high-calorie,
high-fat food. It presents the most thorough and compelling
evidence that drug addiction and obesity are based on the same
underlying neurobiological mechanisms."