Active Low-Carber Forums
Atkins diet and low carb discussion provided free for information only, not as medical advice.
Home Plans Tips Recipes Tools Stories Studies Products
Active Low-Carber Forums
A sugar-free zone


Welcome to the Active Low-Carber Forums.
Support for Atkins diet, Protein Power, Neanderthin (Paleo Diet), CAD/CALP, Dr. Bernstein Diabetes Solution and any other healthy low-carb diet or plan, all are welcome in our lowcarb community. Forget starvation and fad diets -- join the healthy eating crowd! You may register by clicking here, it's free!

Go Back   Active Low-Carber Forums > Main Low-Carb Diets Forums & Support > Low-Carb Studies & Research / Media Watch > LC Research/Media
User Name
Password
Register FAQ Members Calendar Mark Forums Read Search Gallery My P.L.A.N. Survey


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1   ^
Old Wed, Nov-02-11, 19:44
aj_cohn's Avatar
aj_cohn aj_cohn is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 3,948
 
Plan: Protein Power
Stats: 213/167/165 Male 65 in.
BF:35%/23%/20%
Progress: 96%
Location: United States
Default Sugar+Fats = Food Addiction

Bad headline, interesting article, mostly ignorant comments.

URL: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-...of-science.html

Quote:
Fatty Foods Addictive Like Cocaine in Growing Body of Scientific Research

Cupcakes may be addictive, just like cocaine. A growing body of medical research at leading universities and government laboratories suggests that processed foods and sugary drinks made by the likes of PepsiCo Inc. and Kraft Foods Inc. (KFT) aren’t simply unhealthy. They can hijack the brain in ways that resemble addictions to cocaine, nicotine and other drugs. “The data is so overwhelming the field has to accept it,” said Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse. “We are finding tremendous overlap between drugs in the brain and food in the brain.”

The idea that food may be addictive was barely on scientists’ radar a decade ago. Now the field is heating up. Lab studies have found sugary drinks and fatty foods can produce addictive behavior in animals. Brain scans of obese people and compulsive eaters, meanwhile, reveal disturbances in brain reward circuits similar to those experienced by drug abusers. Twenty-eight scientific studies and papers on food addiction have been published this year, according to a National Library of Medicine database. As the evidence expands, the science of addiction could become a game changer for the $1 trillion food and beverage industries.

Fun-for-You

If fatty foods and snacks and drinks sweetened with sugar and high fructose corn syrup are proven to be addictive, food companies may face the most drawn-out consumer safety battle since the anti-smoking movement took on the tobacco industry a generation ago. “This could change the legal landscape,” said Kelly Brownell, director of Yale University’s Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity and a proponent of anti-obesity regulation. “People knew for a long time cigarettes were killing people, but it was only later they learned about nicotine and the intentional manipulation of it.”

Food company executives and lobbyists are quick to counter that nothing has been proven, that nothing is wrong with what PepsiCo Chief Executive Officer Indra Nooyi calls “fun-for- you” foods, if eaten in moderation. In fact, the companies say they’re making big strides toward offering consumers a wide range of healthier snacking options. Nooyi, for one, is as well known for calling attention to PepsiCo’s progress offering healthier fare as she is for driving sales. Coca-Cola Co. (KO), PepsiCo, Northfield, Illinois-based Kraft and Kellogg Co. of Battle Creek, Michigan, declined to grant interviews with their scientists.

No one disputes that obesity is a fast growing global problem. In the U.S., a third of adults and 17 percent of teens and children are obese, and those numbers are increasing. Across the globe, from Latin America, to Europe to Pacific Island nations, obesity rates are also climbing. Cost to Society The cost to society is enormous. A 2009 study of 900,000 people, published in The Lancet, found that moderate obesity reduces life expectancy by two to four years, while severe obesity shortens life expectancy by as much as 10 years. Obesity has been shown to boost the risk of heart disease, diabetes, some cancers, osteoarthritis, sleep apnea and stroke, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The costs of treating illness associated with obesity were estimated at $147 billion in 2008, according to a 2009 study in Health Affairs.

A Lot Like Addiction

Sugars and fats, of course, have always been present in the human diet and our bodies are programmed to crave them. What has changed is modern processing that creates food with concentrated levels of sugars, unhealthy fats and refined flour, without redeeming levels of fiber or nutrients, obesity experts said. Consumption of large quantities of those processed foods may be changing the way the brain is wired. Those changes look a lot like addiction to some experts. Addiction “is a loaded term, but there are aspects of the modern diet that can elicit behavior that resembles addiction,” said David Ludwig, a Harvard researcher and director of the New Balance Foundation Obesity Prevention Center at Children’s Hospital Boston. Highly processed foods may cause rapid spikes and declines in blood sugar, increasing cravings, his research has found.

Education, diets and drugs to treat obesity have proven largely ineffective and the new science of obesity may explain why, proponents say. Constant stimulation with tasty, calorie-laden foods may desensitize the brain’s circuitry, leading people to consume greater quantities of junk food to maintain a constant state of pleasure. In one 2010 study, scientists at Scripps Research Institute in Jupiter, Florida, fed rats an array of fatty and sugary products including Hormel Foods Corp. (HRL) bacon, Sara Lee Corp. (SLE) pound cake, The Cheesecake Factory Inc. (CAKE) cheesecake and Pillsbury Co. Creamy Supreme cake frosting. The study measured activity in regions of the brain involved in registering reward and pleasure through electrodes implanted in the rats. Binge-Eating Rats The rats that had access to these foods for one hour a day started binge eating, even when more nutritious food was available all day long. Other groups of rats that had access to the sweets and fatty foods for 18 to 23 hours per day became obese, Paul Kenny, the Scripps scientist heading the study wrote in the journal Nature Neuroscience. The results produced the same brain pattern that occurs with escalating intake of cocaine, he wrote. “To see food do the same thing was mind-boggling,” Kenny later said in an interview. Researchers are finding that damage to the brain’s reward centers may occur when people eat excessive quantities of food. Sweet Rewards In one 2010 study conducted by researchers at the University of Texas in Austin and the Oregon Research Institute, a nonprofit group that studies human behavior, 26 overweight young women were given magnetic resonance imaging scans as they got sips of a milkshake made with Haagen-Dazs ice cream and Hershey Co. (HSY)’s chocolate syrup. The same women got repeat MRI scans six months later. Those who had gained weight showed reduced activity in the striatum, a region of the brain that registers reward, when they sipped milkshakes the second time, according to the study results, published last year in the Journal of Neuroscience. “A career of overeating causes blunted reward receipt, and this is exactly what you see with chronic drug abuse,” said Eric Stice, a researcher at the Oregon Research Institute.

Scientists studying food addiction have had to overcome skepticism, even from their peers. In the late 1990s, NIDA’s Volkow, then a drug addiction researcher at Brookhaven National Laboratory on Long Island, applied for a National Institutes of Health grant to scan obese people to see whether their brain reward centers were affected. Her grant proposal was turned down. Finding Evidence “I couldn’t get it funded,” she said in an interview. “The response was, there is no evidence that food produces addictive-like behaviors in the brain.” Volkow, working with Brookhaven researcher Gene-Jack Wang, cobbled together funding from another government agency to conduct a study using a brain scanning device capable of measuring chemical activity inside the body using radioactive tracers. Researchers were able to map dopamine receptor levels in the brains of 10 obese volunteers. Dopamine is a chemical produced in the brain that signals reward. Natural boosters of dopamine include exercise and sexual activity, but drugs such as cocaine and heroin also stimulate the chemical in large quantities. In drug abusers, brain receptors that receive the dopamine signal may become unresponsive with increased drug usage, causing drug abusers to steadily increase their dosage in search of the same high. The Brookhaven study found that the obese people also had lowered levels of dopamine receptors compared with a lean control group.

Addicted to Sugar

The same year, psychologists at Princeton University began studying whether lab rats could become addicted to a 10 percent solution of sugar water, about the same percentage of sugar contained in most soft drinks. An occasional drink caused no problems for the lab animals. Yet the researchers found dramatic effects when the rats were allowed to drink sugar-water every day. Over time they drank “more and more and more” while eating less of their usual diet, said Nicole Avena, who began the work as a graduate student at Princeton and is now a neuroscientist at the University of Florida. The animals also showed withdrawal symptoms, including anxiety, shakes and tremors, when the effect of the sugar was blocked with a drug. The scientists, moreover, were able to determine changes in the levels of dopamine in the brain, similar to those seen in animals on addictive drugs. Similar Behavior “We consistently found that the changes we were observing in the rats binging on sugar were like what we would see if the animals were addicted to drugs,” said Avena, who for years worked closely with the late Princeton psychologist, Bartley Hoebel, who died this year.

While the animals didn’t become obese on sugar water alone, they became overweight when Avena and her colleagues offered them water sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup. A 2007 French experiment stunned researchers when it showed that rats prefer water sweetened with saccharine or sugar to hits of cocaine -- exactly the opposite of what existing dogma would have suggested. “It was a big surprise,” said Serge Ahmed, a neuroscientist who led the research for the French National Research Council at the University of Bordeaux. Yale’s Brownell helped organize one of the first conferences on food addiction in 2007. Since then, a protégé, Ashley Gearhardt, devised a 25-question survey to help researchers spot people with eating habits that resemble addictive behavior.

Pictures of Milkshakes

She and her colleagues used magnetic resonance imaging to examine brain activity of women scoring high on the survey. Pictures of milkshakes lit up the same brain regions that become hyperactive in alcoholics anticipating a drink, according to results published in the Archives of General Psychiatry in April.

Developing Treatments

Food addiction research may reinvigorate the search for effective obesity drugs, said Mark Gold, who chairs the psychiatry department at the University of Florida in Gainesville. Gold said the treatments he is working on seek to alter food preferences without suppressing overall appetite. “We are trying to develop treatments that interfere with pathological food preferences,” he said. “Let’s say you are addicted to ice cream, you might come up with a treatment that blocked your interest in ice cream, but doesn’t affect your interest in meat.” In related work, Shire Plc (SHP), a Dublin-based drugmaker, is testing its Vyvanse hyperactivity drug in patients with binge- eating problems.

Industry Response

Not everyone is convinced. Swansea University psychologist David Benton recently published a 16-page rebuttal to sugar addiction studies. The paper, partly funded by the World Sugar Research Organization, which includes Atlanta-based Coca-Cola, the world’s largest soft-drink maker, argues that food doesn’t produce the same kind of intense dopamine release seen with drugs and that blocking certain brain receptors doesn’t produce withdrawal symptoms in binge-eaters as it does in drug abusers.

What’s still unknown is whether the science of food addition has begun to change the thinking among food and beverage companies, which are, after all, primarily in the business of selling the Doritos, Twinkies and other fare people crave. About 80 percent of Purchase, New York-based PepsiCo’s marketing budget, for instance, is directed toward pushing salty snacks and sodas. Although companies are quick to point to their healthier offerings, their top executives are constantly called upon to reassure investors those sales of snack foods and sodas are showing steady growth.

“We want to see profit growth and revenue growth,” said Tim Hoyle, director of research at Haverford Trust Co. in Radnor, Pennsylvania, an investor in PepsiCo, the world’s largest snack-food maker. “The health foods are good for headlines but when it gets down to it, the growth drivers are the comfort foods, the Tostitos and the Pepsi-Cola.” Little wonder that the food industry is pushing hard on the idea that the best way to get a handle on obesity is through voluntary measures and by offering healthier choices. The same tactic worked for awhile, decades ago, for the tobacco industry, which deflected attention from the health risks and addictive nature of cigarettes with “low tar and nicotine” marketing. Food industry lobbyists don’t buy that argument -- or even the idea that food addiction may exist. Said Richard Adamson, a pharmacologist and consultant for the American Beverage Association: “I have never heard of anyone robbing a bank to get money to buy a candy bar or ice cream or pop.”
Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
  #2   ^
Old Wed, Nov-02-11, 22:12
kyrasdad's Avatar
kyrasdad kyrasdad is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 3,058
 
Plan: Atkins
Stats: 338/253/210 Male 5'11"
BF:
Progress: 66%
Location: Broken Arrow, Oklahoma
Default

Fail: describe "fatty" foods as "like cocaine" and then use a cupcake and Pepsi as prime examples. Would love to see the mainstream media disassociate "fatty" foods with "fattening" ones.
Reply With Quote
  #3   ^
Old Thu, Nov-03-11, 06:55
leemack's Avatar
leemack leemack is offline
NEVER GIVING UP!
Posts: 5,030
 
Plan: no sugar/grains LCHF IF
Stats: 478/354/200 Female 5' 9"
BF:excessive!!
Progress: 45%
Location: UK
Default

I would say I have a food addiction, but I never crave fatty foods - its all about the glucose and fructose. And the more sugar, the more intense the cravings.

I could make milkshakes at home with lots of cream and some berries and ice - I don't crave those at all - but whatever mcdonalds put in their milkshakes is highly addictive, and I suspect its the sugar content or HFCS.

I was having a small glass of orange juice before bed to take with tryptophan to help with seretonin levels - I had to stop because I constantly found myself wanting to drink the orange juice during the day.

Its the sugar in these foods, not the fat. They may add fat for the taste but its certainly not what causes my cravings.

Lee
Reply With Quote
  #4   ^
Old Thu, Nov-03-11, 09:05
aj_cohn's Avatar
aj_cohn aj_cohn is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 3,948
 
Plan: Protein Power
Stats: 213/167/165 Male 65 in.
BF:35%/23%/20%
Progress: 96%
Location: United States
Default

If you look past the misleading headline, much of the article supports what LC'ers have been saying. Actual science backs up the position that sugary stuff is addictive, and that sugar + fat is doubly so.

Now, we just need researchers to associate these results with the theory that best fits the observations: that sugar and grains are addictive per se, without any magic manipulation, and that hormonal derangement (insulin, leptin, ghrellin) is the mechanism.
Reply With Quote
  #5   ^
Old Thu, Nov-03-11, 11:32
Dodger's Avatar
Dodger Dodger is online now
Posts: 8,284
 
Plan: Paleoish
Stats: 225/175/175 Male 71.5 inches
BF:18%
Progress: 100%
Location: Longmont, Colorado
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by aj_cohn
If you look past the misleading headline, much of the article supports what LC'ers have been saying. Actual science backs up the position that sugary stuff is addictive, and that sugar + fat is doubly so.

Now, we just need researchers to associate these results with the theory that best fits the observations: that sugar and grains are addictive per se, without any magic manipulation, and that hormonal derangement (insulin, leptin, ghrellin) is the mechanism.
Without the sugar, fat is not addictive. There are few sugar and protein foods (I can't think of any right now) and I bet they would also fit the addictive category. Sugar is the culprit.
Reply With Quote
  #6   ^
Old Thu, Nov-03-11, 12:12
Seejay's Avatar
Seejay Seejay is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 3,025
 
Plan: Optimal Diet
Stats: 00/00/00 Female 62 inches
BF:
Progress: 8%
Default

Quote:
Without the sugar, fat is not addictive
There is anecdotal evidence that fat plus casein protein or o6 fat fats can be addictive - it has to do with engaging the reward pathway of endorphins versus dopamine. Hence peanuts, cheese, and grain-fed meat overdoses for susceptible individuals.

The only thing I have never heard or seen people feeling addicted to is bitter greens and pure saturated fat.
Reply With Quote
  #7   ^
Old Thu, Nov-03-11, 12:33
aj_cohn's Avatar
aj_cohn aj_cohn is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 3,948
 
Plan: Protein Power
Stats: 213/167/165 Male 65 in.
BF:35%/23%/20%
Progress: 96%
Location: United States
Default

Mike, I agree with you completely, and I regret that I left the opposite impression.

Seejay, my breakfast today was a small amount of a spicy spinach concoction and 1 C of pork cracklins (the leftovers from rendering lard). So, I'm an addict.
Reply With Quote
  #8   ^
Old Thu, Nov-03-11, 14:38
Seejay's Avatar
Seejay Seejay is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 3,025
 
Plan: Optimal Diet
Stats: 00/00/00 Female 62 inches
BF:
Progress: 8%
Default

LOL oh brother. You don't count as an addict unless you know what jonesing is and unless you have gone to 7-Eleven late at night to get your spicy spinach concoction (concocted with what?) and 7-Eleven pork rinds not your own for gosh sakes. That is like Frank Zappa - are you a real addict or a Sears addict?
Reply With Quote
  #9   ^
Old Thu, Nov-03-11, 17:02
teaser's Avatar
teaser teaser is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 13,093
 
Plan: mostly milkfat
Stats: 190/152.4/154 Male 67inches
BF:
Progress: 104%
Location: Ontario
Default

Quote:
“A career of overeating causes blunted reward receipt, and this is exactly what you see with chronic drug abuse,”


This statement is a little backwards.

The blunted reward with drugs is the cause of the increase in 'appetite' for the drugs, not the other way around.
Reply With Quote
  #10   ^
Old Thu, Nov-03-11, 18:23
aj_cohn's Avatar
aj_cohn aj_cohn is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 3,948
 
Plan: Protein Power
Stats: 213/167/165 Male 65 in.
BF:35%/23%/20%
Progress: 96%
Location: United States
Default

Seejay,

There was a time in my life where I knew the exact location of every 7-11 on my route to and from work. I'd go out in mid-winter, a coat and sweats over my jammies, and "enjoy the moonlight sparkling on the snow" on my way to get my fix, making sure to go to a different store than on my prior "moonlight drive." And I wasn't jonesing for pork rinds.

Food's been my lover and my best friend. I've "rescued" it from the garbage, stolen it from roommates, and stashed it where I thought my wife wouldn't find it.

Before LC'ing, I've been in a rehab program, 12-step meeting rooms, and doctors' offices trying to recover. None of them removed the itch or took the monkey off my back. Even with LC, which has given me more sanity around food than anything else, I've had to lose the same 50-60 lbs twice, because I couldn't deal with the underlying mental and emotional issues.

So yes, I'd say I'm a bona fide addict.
Reply With Quote
  #11   ^
Old Fri, Nov-04-11, 01:26
Thomas1492's Avatar
Thomas1492 Thomas1492 is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 5,826
 
Plan: Ketogenic
Stats: 500/408/300 Male 73 inches
BF:toodamnmuch
Progress: 46%
Location: Oregon
Default

Quote:
Not everyone is convinced. Swansea University psychologist David Benton recently published a 16-page rebuttal to sugar addiction studies. The paper, partly funded by the World Sugar Research Organization, which includes Atlanta-based Coca-Cola, the world’s largest soft-drink maker,

Reply With Quote
  #12   ^
Old Fri, Nov-04-11, 09:38
Seejay's Avatar
Seejay Seejay is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 3,025
 
Plan: Optimal Diet
Stats: 00/00/00 Female 62 inches
BF:
Progress: 8%
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by teaser
This statement is a little backwards.

The blunted reward with drugs is the cause of the increase in 'appetite' for the drugs, not the other way around.
I would say it's circular. The bad foods blunt the reward, and then there is the increase in appetite.
Reply With Quote
  #13   ^
Old Fri, Nov-04-11, 09:42
Seejay's Avatar
Seejay Seejay is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 3,025
 
Plan: Optimal Diet
Stats: 00/00/00 Female 62 inches
BF:
Progress: 8%
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by aj_cohn
Seejay,

There was a time in my life where I knew the exact location of every 7-11 on my route to and from work. I'd go out in mid-winter, a coat and sweats over my jammies, and "enjoy the moonlight sparkling on the snow" on my way to get my fix, making sure to go to a different store than on my prior "moonlight drive." And I wasn't jonesing for pork rinds.

Food's been my lover and my best friend. I've "rescued" it from the garbage, stolen it from roommates, and stashed it where I thought my wife wouldn't find it.

Before LC'ing, I've been in a rehab program, 12-step meeting rooms, and doctors' offices trying to recover. None of them removed the itch or took the monkey off my back. Even with LC, which has given me more sanity around food than anything else, I've had to lose the same 50-60 lbs twice, because I couldn't deal with the underlying mental and emotional issues.

So yes, I'd say I'm a bona fide addict.
(bowing) my apologies, I see you do know the drill.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 16:35.


Copyright © 2000-2018 Active Low-Carber Forums @ forum.lowcarber.org
Powered by: vBulletin, Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.