Junk food not addictive, just tasty

Junk food not addictive, just tasty

April 7th, 2013 by Drew Johnson in Opinion Free Press

Addictions are an easy way out when you think about it.

For years, overweight Americans blamed the "addictive nature" of fast food, soda, snack food and candy for their inability to stop devouring Big Macs, Mountain Dews and Twinkies.

Science even appeared to back them up ... until last month.

That's when food scientists at North Carolina State University in Raleigh revealed that the findings of a 2010 study indicating that the brain circuitry of rats that ate junk food resembled the circuitry for rats exposed to cocaine were flawed.

While the rats certainly enjoyed eating the junk food made available to them - which included tasty treats such as Hormel bacon, Sara Lee pound cake, and cheesecake, according to the website NaturalNews.com - the rats were not actually addicted to the unhealthy snacks.

"Abusing drugs doesn't affect brain chemistry in the same way [as eating junk foods]," Gabriel Harris, an assistant professor of food science at North Carolina State, told Fox News.

People may prefer a hot Krispy Kreme doughnut to stalk of celery because "people are biologically wired to respond to certain tastes, textures and colors," according to Harris. "[B]ut that doesn't mean it's an addiction."

So where does that leave us? Right back where we began: with free will and the choice to put in our bodies whatever we want. Science may mean that you prefer junk food, but science isn't making you eat it. It's your decision.

- Drew Johnson