Cakes and pizza should be redefined as addictive, as experts say processed foods are as addictive and dangerous as cigarettes, plus products meet the same addictive standards as nicotine, and foods have also been linked to obesity, diabetes, heart disease and other problems, two scientists are calling for the imposition of Restrictions on the marketing of foods, according to the British newspaper “Daily Mail”.
Scientists say highly processed foods should be reclassified as addictive and harmful as cigarettes, with researchers claiming items like cake, sweetened cereal and pizza meet criteria that identified cigarettes as addictive in the 1990s, and these include causing compulsive use and mood alterations that affect Brain, possessing addictive or craving-promoting properties or ingredients. Ultra-processed foods—which also include things like soda, chips, pastries, and sweets—contain large amounts of unnatural flavorings, preservatives and sweeteners.
These properties give them delicious flavor – but also make them rich in calories, fat, sugar or salt, which increases the risk of obesity and other chronic diseases, the newspaper said.
Researchers led by Dr. Ashley Gerhardt, a professor of psychology at the University of Michigan, said these foods are very similar to cigarettes and addictive substances due to their remoteness in taste and texture from natural foods.
“They’re synthetic materials that are designed to deliver sugar and fat,” said Dr. Alexandra DeFelicintonio, professor of health behavior research at Virginia Tech, explaining, “It’s products that are well engineered to deliver addictive substances.”
The researchers want to restrict the marketing of these foods to children, in the same way that nicotine ads cannot be targeted to children, but they stopped short of calling for a complete age ban.
The newspaper said, the obesity crisis in America has been largely linked to the prevalence of ultra-processed foods, foods are believed to make up about 50% of the American diet, and as a result, about 70% of Americans are obese, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). ), with 40% of them classified as obese.
Dr. Gerhardt warned that even people of a healthy weight are still at risk of cancer and other problems from eating junk food, foods have been linked to a jump in diseases such as colorectal and kidney cancer, and Alzheimer’s in the US, among others.
Persistently high blood sugar, through eating sugary foods, can lead to diabetes.
A shocking study published in September that found early rates of breast, colon and pancreatic cancers were rising globally suggested these foods are the culprit.
Brazilian researchers published a study earlier this week suggesting that 1 in 5 premature deaths in the South American country were linked to processed foods. Now, experts are calling for it to be regulated in a similar way to nicotine.
In 1988, Dr. Charles Everett Cope, who served as the United States’ surgeon general to President Ronald Reagan, published a 600-page report discussing nicotine addiction.
At the time, more than half of adults in the United States smoked cigarettes, but the long-term effects of their use were relatively unknown.
Dr. Cobb used three main measures, compulsive use, mood alteration and reinforcement to determine that nicotine is addictive. Last year, scientists determined that cravings for a cigarette many chronic users feel are a fourth pillar of addiction as well. Dr. Gerhardt and Dr.
DeFelicintonio applied The criteria used to determine that nicotine is addictive in highly processed foods as well. The first was compulsive use, which they described as someone who wants to eat foods even when they realize how harmful they are to health.
Dr. Gerhardt emphasized that people want to reduce their consumption of processed foods and blamed the fat and sugar contents of foods for triggering an addictive response in the brain. While more research into fast food is needed to determine exactly how much it affects the brain, she believes that How quickly the body processes it can play a role.
These rapid results, say the researchers, are similar to the way nicotine and alcohol work throughout the body, and the high sugar and fat content of these foods also affect a person’s dopamine receptors in the brain.