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Old 03-28-2010, 01:23 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Fatty Foods = Cocaine?

Okay, so I oversimplified the "new" findings in the news.
But according to CNN's article from Health.com, fatty foods may be just addiciting as cocaine and heroin.
Now I'm not doubting the science, mostly because I've believed this for years, what I'm questioning is "What now?"

I just forsee so many more people stepping forward saying, "I'm an addict, I can't stop myself" in a manner much less seriously than those with eating disorders. Please don't get me wrong, I'm not discounting eating disorders or those with true additions...
I get completely annoyed with people that externalize their problems and blame things (like overeating) on the closest excuse. "Bacon's addicting, I can't say no." Okay then, get off your ass and get treatment if you're so addicted. I see this becoming the "popular" excuse in the media for the growing number of overweight and obese people.
There are so many that have legit issues (like eating disorders, medical issues, etc) that impact their weight that to now say, "I'm addicted to cheesecake," and then do nothing about it seems disrespectful.
I'm a little jacked up right now, with annoyance, about this whole issue because part of it feels like a free-and-clear reason to overeat for some people.

So I'm wondering, what do you all think about this article popping up on the front page of CNN? Not the science, but the presentation and what may happen in the future regarding health, weight, perceptions of overweight/obese persons?





*disclaimer: I'm not talking down about anyone overweight, my fat ass lost 94 pounds a few years ago, mmmkay?
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Old 03-28-2010, 05:34 PM   #2 (permalink)
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People who would claim an addiction to food will latch on to any excuse for their behavior. This is just one more drop in an already large bucket.
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Old 03-28-2010, 05:40 PM   #3 (permalink)
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As someone who has been addicted to food for my entire life, I can easily see it. My relationship with food is completely fucked up. I eat when I'm not hungry. Being hungry is mentally draining. I get a high when I eat and it turns my day into a good day from eating. When I don't get to eat I get depressed and drained.

Until you've experienced this it's hard to say whether you agree or not. It's easy to say it's BS obviously if you eat when you're hungry like normal people do.
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Last edited by Lasereth; 03-28-2010 at 05:43 PM..
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Old 03-28-2010, 06:18 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I have an addictive personality but I've yet to find anything that I've been completely unable to put down once I realized it was unhealthy and decided to give a crap about it. Heck, I've been overweight since I was 10 or 12 years old but I've finally gotten tired of being a fatass and am slowly bringing the weight down at a healthy rate that's easier to maintain. I'm not saying people don't really have problems but I really can't see why someone wouldn't get help if they knew the problem existed (excluding cost prohibitive treatment etc.). Human behavior is so confusing.
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Old 03-28-2010, 06:32 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Addictions are all based on the brain's release of dopamine and serotonin; whether it be triggered by food, drugs, or sex. If it happens to you, it's real. The human digestive system is very complicated - the digestive tract is second only to the brain in the number of neurons, and there are many chemicals and hormones that trigger the "eat; don't eat" response. Why should we think that the corporations that process our food are on a higher moral ground than say, cigarette manufacturers, who knowingly made their product more addictive? They're in business to sell their product for a profit. That means "more product to more people."
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Old 03-28-2010, 06:36 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Got a lot to do with humans' "reptile brain".

Back in the day when we were living in caves and poking each other in the eye with a burnt stick, food was hard to come by, heating was a bit hit-and-miss and clothing was not as stylish as today (although I wonder).

Humankind needed fat to survive and the eating of fatty foods (i.e. animal fat) was an essential to survival. In much the same way as the desire to procreate, this has become a innate desire, but unfortunately, the high metabolism rate which was a trait of the hunter-gatherer has not kept pace.

I'm very lucky, I have a fast metabolism and no matter what I eat, I don't put on weight. Oh, I've got the middle-age spread, but I weigh 90 kgs or so, much as I always have and these days, my most strenuous exercise is getting out of bed.

Life's a lottery - and I was lucky enough to get a winning ticket. (these cigarettes are going to kill me, though)
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Old 04-03-2010, 07:23 AM   #7 (permalink)
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While I think that many people use the "addiction" excuse when it isn't truly applicable, I think a true food addiction would be one of the hardest to kick.

If you are addicted to crack, you can quit.
If you are addicted to nicotine, you can quit.
If you are addicted to alcohol, you can quit.

If you are addicted to food, you will die if you quit.

Can you imagine going to AA and them telling you to only drink 4 beers or less a day, since 5 or more is binge drinking? Or telling someone to smoke 6 cigs per day, but no more? Food would be a tough one because it is a human need for existance, and so there would always be the temptation to indulge just a little more.
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Old 04-03-2010, 08:14 AM   #8 (permalink)
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How many cupcakes did you make the other day?
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Old 04-03-2010, 01:54 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I'm addicted to food. Smells, texture, taste... everything about food drives me everyday of my life. I can't stop. I think about food almost as much as I think about sex. And in most fantasies... they are combined. I dream about BBQ sauce and bone marrow... the perfect noodles in a spicy broth with thinly sliced beef and tripe...

Food runs my life. It has for years.


I'm not overweight. Never have been. Being addicted to food doesn't equal being overweight. Being addicted to over-indulgence of food, no matter what it is, equals being overweight and unhealthy.
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Old 04-03-2010, 08:12 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I made 24 cupcakes.
I did not eat a single one.
I enjoyed making them.
I'm a bit addicted to cooking and baking and playing around in the kitchen.

I've already has someone bring up the food addiction thing at work. She actually tried to tell me that she was physically addicted to fried chicken. I'm still not quite sure how that works. But she said she gets the shakes if she doesn't eat it. Strange.
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Old 04-03-2010, 08:57 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I am overweight and have been since my teenage year.

Do I love food, yes. Do I eat to much of course, and that the real problem... oversize portion and the more you eat big portion the bigger you want it.

Am I going to use the addiction excuse... not at all. When I tried to cut on portion and the extra food in the middle of the afternoon, I do lose weight.

So for me (and other probably) to lose weight is just size control and being active, which is much easier than go get rid of other addiction such as the Caffeine one (The hardest I have)
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Old 04-06-2010, 07:49 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Cocain? Yes. Heroin? No. It's like cocaine addiction because of the neurological reward produced by the mesolimbic pathway when we do something that feels good. It's not quite the same, though, as cocaine is a triple reuptake inhibitor and most of what you eat does not act directly on neutrotransmitters. There are also genetic components to overeating and obesity like the FTO gene and endogenous production of the lipin enzyme.

How much does this affect our health? I don't know; the scientists who research these things say it's significant so I defer to them and accept that it's significant.

I think that a lot of inherent problems could be overcome if people knew more about health. Our country as a whole is misinformed and undereducated on health and fitness. We still put grains and starches at the bottom of the food pyramid and the average American's diet is over 60% calories from carbohydrates; the difference between simple/refined grains/starches, and complex carbohydrates and fiber is lost on people. People worry about avoiding fat, trans fats are big news so people are starting to understand their inherent problems, but there's a huge difference between saturated and unsaturated fats, and most people have never been taught the differences. With regular exercise, a healthy diet is around 40% of calories from fat, 40% from protein, and 20% from carbs, with lean protein from white meat, fish, etc. making up the majority of the protein consumption, unsaturated fats making up the majority of fat consumption, and complex carbs (especially vegetables with lots of fiber) making up the majority of carb intake on days when you're not lifting, with more simple sugars and starches for energy on lifting days or before intense workouts. Most people would be shocked and appalled at the recommendation that you have so much fat, but the truth is that unless you're working out, all the excess calories get stored as fat.

If I had a nickel for every time I heard someone say something that amounts to "I worked out today, so I'm going to reward myself with something sweet," I wouldn't be a penny richer because I'd carry a slingshot around and use the nickels to shoot cupcakes and muffins out of peoples' hands to buy time for me to explain to them that eating 400 calories, mostly from flour and sugar, pretty much negates all that work they just did. Then there's the myth that women shouldn't life weights because they'll bulk up. If you know little enough about muscle building to believe that, no amount of lifting is going to make you look like a freak; women with muscle definition are sexy as hell and that's where you'll end up if you do a full workout.
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Old 04-06-2010, 09:25 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Old 04-06-2010, 01:49 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I've read a few studies about food and the reward pathways being stronger than in cocaine, certainly doesn't suprise me.
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Old 04-06-2010, 06:02 PM   #15 (permalink)
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We are all addicted to food. The chemical changes in our bodies that will occur due to withdrawal are ultimately fatal in every case.

I am overweight and have a time with choices and portion control. But I reserve the use of the word addiction to substances that are used for effect but are not needed for life. I also don't use the word for behaviors or habits.

Here is a shocker. Things that are pleasurable cause the brain to behave in a way that it does with other pleasurable experiences. They are analogous, but they are not the same. The solution is also not the same because abstinence is not possible with diet.
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Old 04-08-2010, 09:57 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevie667 View Post
I've read a few studies about food and the reward pathways being stronger than in cocaine, certainly doesn't suprise me.
I would like to see these. Pubmed would be good, but I have JSTOR access if I need it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by greytone View Post
We are all addicted to food. The chemical changes in our bodies that will occur due to withdrawal are ultimately fatal in every case.

I am overweight and have a time with choices and portion control. But I reserve the use of the word addiction to substances that are used for effect but are not needed for life. I also don't use the word for behaviors or habits.

Here is a shocker. Things that are pleasurable cause the brain to behave in a way that it does with other pleasurable experiences. They are analogous, but they are not the same. The solution is also not the same because abstinence is not possible with diet.
Addiction is entirely a behavioral/habitual phenomenon, which is frequently confused with dependence, a physiological need to use a substance to function normally. Dependence is different from fulfillment of basic biological needs. A starving man's hunger, a heroin junkie's desperation for the next hit, and a cokehead's fiending for the next line are all distinct biological processes.

If you have difficulty with portion control and food choices, you may have an abnormal FTO or Lpin1 gene. Pleasurable experiences are the same in the brain, but to different extents, although coke and food are slightly different because coke is a triple reuptake inhibitor and acts directly on certain neurological pathways.
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