New research shows that 1-in-8 older Americans may be addicted to highly processed snacks and junk food. NBC’s medical contributor Dr. Natalie Azar explains the symptoms and who is more likely to become addicted.


Hoda Kotb: What did the study find?

Azar: So this was a study that actually surveyed 2000 adults between the ages of 50 and 80, and they asked them a bunch of symptoms on an 11-point scale, and if they had 2 out of the 11, it qualified as addictive behavior. And here were the three most common: about 24% of respondents basically said that they had cravings at least once per week, they tried to cut down on their junk food at least 2-3 times per week, and they also had symptoms of withdrawal at least once per week, and that this caused distress in their lives. And that was actually enough to qualify as a diagnosis of food addiction.

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