The Dark Side Of Chocolate Addiction

1225 words - 5 pages

From Dairy Queen’s Chocolate Extreme Blizzards to a Hershey’s bar, I love chocolate of all kinds mixed with all assorted goods. I believe that everyone knows that chocolate is bad for humans to consume in large/multiple quantities. But I also heard of people having “chocolate addictions”. I realize that most people are exaggerating when they say they are “addicted” to chocolate, but it lead me to wonder if it is possible to really be addicted to chocolate and if it is something that could happen to anyone.
As we know chocolate is an unhealthy food option most of us have, it also is in one of the most popular food group, junk food. Everyone has some “junk food” in some point of their life these days; though its consumption is even more popular in the United States. Many Americans are becoming more and more obese over the last century partially due to that fact. According to Dr. Jeffrey Fortuna, author of the article The Obesity Epidemic And Food Addiction: Clinical Similarities To Drug Dependence, “As of 2010 nearly 70% of adult Americans were overweight or obese. Specifically, 35.7% of adult Americans are obese, and this is the highest level of obesity in the recorded history of the United States” (Fortuna, p. 1). I began to wonder if it could be possible that these people have become addicted to the junk food that they crave leading to these unsettling statistics. From the same article, The Obesity Epidemic And Food Addiction: Clinical Similarities To Drug Dependence, I learned that food does possess addictive qualities. There were biological and psychological factors that were similar to those of drug addictions. “They are: (1) cravings for specific drugs and palatable foods exist in many of the same neural path-ways, and; (2) a loss of inhibitory control may occur following the consumption of a small amount of a food or drug that heretofore had euphoric or palliative properties” (Fortuna, p. 3). This is interesting because it certainly is starting to build a viable case for food addictions. Therefore, it stands to wonder if chocolate and other highly addictive foods could be put in the same category as other highly addictive drugs like Oxycodone, Tobacco, and Crack Cocaine.
Another resource I found sheds a bit more light on the question. In the Harvard Mental Health Letter, "Is It Possible To Become Addicted To Chocolate?" by Dr. Michael Miller, the question is illuminated. This article agrees with Jeffrey Fortuna’s article, The Obesity Epidemic And Food Addiction: Clinical Similarities To Drug Dependence, about the evidence that supports some foods to some people having addictive properties. Evidence such as, “high-fat and high-carbohydrate foods trigger reward pathways in animal brains, and restricting these foods can in-duce a stress-like response in some of the animals studied” (Miller p. 1). Also in one study conducted by researchers at Drexel University, they found a psychological reaction in partici-pants that were given a piece of...

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