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Food Addiction

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Food Addiction

Foods that are grown in a factory instead of being grown in the soil are extremely sugary, salty, and fatty. These artificial and over-processed foods become addictive to the body1.

Food addiction is purely neurochemical and cannot be controlled, even with the best willpower2.

Foods that are high in both sugar and fat content work precisely like opium, heroin, or morphine, as detected by PET scans (a form of brain imaging)3. These types of foods cause the body to release opioids in the brain. The neurotransmitter dopamine works exactly like other addictive drugs by stimulating the brain’s reward center4. Individuals who are addicted to drugs, as well as obese individuals, have a lower number of dopamine receptors, causing uncontrollable cravings. In this case, when the level of sugar drops below the body’s acceptable value (in the case of an addict), serious withdrawals are sure to follow.

Calories ingested through beverages are even worse. This intake is the single greatest source of added sugar in diets causing obesity5. In fact, from 1977 to 2002 consumption of calories through sweetened beverages doubled. This led to obesity rates doubling in children ages 2 to 11, and tripling in adolescents ages 12 to 196.

“Calories In, Calories Out” rule is NOT as simple as it sounds…Part 4 of 6


  1. Phillips CM. Nutrigenetics and metabolic disease: current status and implications for personalized nutrition. Nutrients. 2013Jan 10;5(1):32-57.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23306188
  2. Ebbeling CB, Swain JF, Fledman HA, Wong WW, Haohey DL, Lago-Garcia E, Ludwig DS. Effects of Dietary Composition on Energy Expenditure During Weight-Loss Maintenance. JAMA, June 27, 2012-Vol 307, No.24
  3. Gillis L, Gillis A. Nutrient inadequacy in obese and non-obese youth. Can J Diet Prac Res. 2005 Winter;66(4):2270-78.
  4. Gearhardt AN, Corbin WR, Brownell KD. Primarily validation of the yellow food addiction scale. Appetite. 2009;52(2):430-36.
  5. Gearhardt AN, Corbin WR, Brownell KD. Food addiction, and examination of the diagnostic criteria for dependence. J Addit Med.2009;3:1-7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21768996
  6. Volkow, ND Wang GJ, Fowler JS, Logan J, Jayne M, Franceschi D, Wong C, Gatley SJ, Gifford AN, Ding YS, Pappas N. “Nonhedonic” food motivation in the humans involves dopamine in the dorsal striatum and methylphendate amplifies this effect. Synapse. 2002;44(3):175-80.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11954049


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Dr. Jack Kunkel offers alternative medical services that provides custom and effective solutions for your body and mind by using a three-step strategic approach based on key pillars such as nutrition, exercise, and herbs & whole food supplements.