The purpose of the study was to review research that tests the validity of the analogy between addictive drugs, such as cocaine, and delicious foods, such as those high in added sugar – like junk food.
Why are choc chip cookies addictive?
The study looked at the ingredients in traditional chocolate chip recipes, which identified that the average chocolate chip cookie contained around 2.5 teaspoons of sugar, which can induce similar behaviour in the brain as using cocaine, when eaten.
The study also identified that the chocolate in the cookies often contains small amounts of a compound that trigger the same part of your brain as the addictive ingredient in marijuana, known as THC.
How does choc chip cookie addiction happen?
The combined effects on the human brain from eating chocolate chip cookies means that cookies can be dangerously addictive – which explains our desire to eat more than ‘just one’.
“Overall, this research has revealed that sugar and sweet reward can not only substitute to addictive drugs, like cocaine, but can even be more rewarding and attractive,” writes the researchers, explaining that the effect sugar has on the ‘reward’ parts of the brain is even stronger than drugs, which may explain why humans have evolved the desire for food high in sugar and calories.
“The biological robustness in the neural substrates of sugar and sweet reward may be sufficient to explain why many people can have difficultly to control the consumption of foods high in sugar when continuously exposed to them.”
That is, this effect may explain why its so hard to limit our intake of sweets and junk food!
Laura BarryLaura Barry is a writer, bookworm and interior design enthusiast with a love for reporting on all things homes, travel and lifestyle. When not tapping away at her keyboard, Laura can be found making endless cups of tea or perusing the shelves of Sydney’s many bookstores.