Research shows food can be addicting

By Bianca Buono

bbuono@abc6.com

@BiancaBuono

New research done by a team from the University of Michigan is saying food addiction is a real problem.

Dough, tomato sauce, cheese and an endless amount of toppings is the recipe to what’s been dubbed the most addictive food you can eat.

"I think it’s honestly true because we have our steady customers that come in here everyday and order the same pizza over and over so I think it is very addicting,” said Jorge Dacosta, Manager of Pizza Pie-er.

Researchers surveyed more than 500 people and asked them to try different food items.

They then reported whether it would be hard to control just how much of it they ate. Topping the list were pizza, chips, french fries and chocolate.

"For me the most addictive would be potato chips. I crave potato chips more than pizza,” said Chen Sour of Fall River.

Like many, a Providence-based psychotherapist wasn’t surprised by the latest findings. In fact, she says she’s seen food addiction many times.

"It may help them to calm down by turning towards eating their ice cream or cookies or pizza because it will be kind of soothing. So it’s similar to other drugs,” said Psychotherapist Susan Hurd.

Symptoms are similar as well, including withdrawals.

"A person can start getting headaches, they can start feeling more tired, kind of foggy brained,” Hurd said.

Like any other addiction, the first step is identifying the problem. Researchers say the most problematic foods cause a spike in blood sugar which makes them hard to put down.

Fruits and vegetables were reported as the least addicting of the foods tested. The most at risk eaters are those with a high BMI.