ANN ARBOR – Are highly processed foods addictive?

A topic of debate for years, researchers at the University of Michigan and Virginia Tech set out to find the answer based on scientific criteria.

For the study, they used a U.S. Surgeon General’s report from 1988 that classified tobacco as an addictive substance, and applied it to food.

The results? Yes, food loaded with added fats and refined carbohydrates can be considered addictive substances.

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The researched, performed by lead author and U-M associate professor of psychology Ashley Gearhardt and assistant professor of biomedical research at Virginia Tech Alexandra DiFeliceantonio, was recently published in the Addiction Journal.

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