April 2, 2014
Junk Food Addiction: Additives and Hyper-Palatable Foods
Gold M.D, M. (2009). Obesity and food addiction summit. Retrieved from
The author Dr. Gold is a researcher and chief of addiction medicine at the McKnight Brain Institute at the University of Florida, has worked for over 40 years to create models to study the effects of drugs and food on the brain. He has been working on new projects such as addiction-based models to understand and evaluate the pleasures of overeating and it being just an obsessive attachment to food like any other addiction.
This article examines how there is a biochemical condition in the body that creates a physical craving for specific foods and it could be the same type of substances that prompts a person to become an alcoholic. Dr. Gold says that highly palatable foods, which are pleasure foods high in fat and additives, can produce the same effects as drug abuse. This article is interesting because some people do overeat unknowingly but has not thought of it being an addiction, but could have more statistics and studies to show if there is a real solution to the problem.
Schlosser, E. (2001). Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal.
Eric Schlosser is an investigative journalist. He visits different farms in California, visited meatpacking industries/workers in Texas and Colorado. Eric is pointing out how fast food is killing us slowly by the ingredients that make up tastes and aroma that make people indulge in certain foods. He talks about Americans not knowing how this food is made, where it comes from, or what it is doing to the community/consumer and discusses the chemical components that make the food taste so good. This connects into the article from Dr. Gold discussion on hyper palatable foods (pleasure food) and additives and how it can produce the same effects as drug abuse. The author informs of the changing economy and reduced resources used in food also, how fast food/junk food fills consumers’ stomachs with high fat, low-nutrition foods with additives such as salt, and sodas that have about 8-10 teaspoons of sugar each. This book explains how the economy has progressed to everyone needing to work which less time is spent at home preparing fresh wholesome meals. The research presented here will be something that will have a good relevance to my research topic because it explores information about numerous of reasons of how we came to problem of uncontrolled food consumption.
Cocores, J. A., ; Gold, M. S. (2009).The Salted Food Addiction Hypothesis May Explain
Overeating and The Obesity Epidemic. Medical Hypotheses.73(6), 892-899. doi:10.1016/j.mehy.2009.06.049
The author Dr. Gold, is a researcher and chief of addiction medicine at the McKnight Brain Institute at the University of Florida, has worked for over 40 years to create models to study the effects of drugs and food on the brain. He has been working on new projects such as addiction-based models to understand and evaluate the pleasures of overeating and it being just an obsessive attachment to food like any other addiction. Dr. James Alexander Cocores MD is a male Neurologist, has 29 years of experience and practices in Neurology and Psychiatry. This article’s focus is on salt urges- cravings, and people increase their salt intake when they get withdrawals, which leads to obesity because they start to consume more than they did before so they can make up for the loss cravings. How our current environment exposes us to very large amounts of sodium through foods we eat. The experiment tests that salt intake may affect opiate receptors, just like certain drugs. This was a short journal brief, which could be true but not have enough evidence (statistics) to determine that it leads to obesity, but it can urge cravings. This article may not be valuable because they did not actually measure salt intake of the people they tested that went through salt withdrawal. The reports tested showed that subjects gained an average of 11 lbs., and self-reported that they increased their intake of fast food. How much more fast food did they consume? The article does not lend any answers to these questions.
Volkow, N. D., & Wise, R. A. (2005). How Can Drug Addiction Help Us Understand
Obesity? Nature Neuroscience, 8(5), 555-560. doi:10.1038/nn1452
The author is a research psychiatrist, scientist, and Director of the National Institute of Drug Abuse Center in May 2003. She established the use of brain imaging to investigate the toxic effects and addictive properties of types of drugs that are abused. She published more than 530 peer-reviewed articles and written more than 80 book chapters and non-peer reviewed manuscripts, and has edited three books on neuroimaging for mental and addictive disorders. A new study by researchers from the FOOD plus Research Centre at the University of Adelaide has found that prenatal exposure to a maternal diet high in fat and sugar can lead to children being born with an addiction to junk food. The author explains how pregnant mothers who eat junk food causes changes in the development of the opioid signaling (any psychoactive chemical that resembles morphine or other opiates in its pharmacological effects-like a drug) pathway of an unborn child’s brain, resulting in them being less sensitive to opioids (addictive substances) and have a lower tolerance to junk food, and need a large quantity to feel satisfied. This article lends a possible solution by approaching health care systems to introduce reforms restricting the unnecessary consumption of soda in restaurants with refills or upsizes and by using smaller serving sizes.
US Food Drug Administration. (2012, Jan). Food. Overview of Food Ingredients, Additives ; Colors
The FDA is responsible for protecting and promoting public health through the regulation and supervision of food safety, tobacco products, dietary supplements, prescription, and over-the-counter pharmaceutical drugs (medications). Having government-regulated reductions to sodium would help alleviate large absorptions of salt that makes people crave. The FDA is launching efforts to identify opportunities to reduce sodium in food in order to put more control into consumers’ hands. This does not serve a clear purpose of urges to eat more food but this article does offer information about sodium problems and the government trying to make the consumption smaller. This report basically explains the overall health effect of humans if they consume too much sodium. In the FDA’s article Overview of Food Ingredients, Additives ; Colors, consumers have concerns about additives because they may see the long, unfamiliar names and think of them as complex chemical compounds. It tells us that every food we eat is made up of chemical compounds that determine flavor, color, texture and nutrient value. The FDA is claiming that they investigate every chemical compound and if it passes FDA’s tests then it is safe but, if this is true why does the soda industry get away with not disclosing some ingredients on labels? The consumer or the FDA does not know if the “hidden” ingredients are safe or not. This article is great because this leaves a debate on this issue.