Processed Foods Linked To Addictive Eating


It has long been suspected that processed and refined foods like chocolate, pizza and French fries may have addictive properties. You only have to look at somebody eating a bag of large Doritos (for example), chowing them down like they are a regular single bag of crisps. These individuals no doubt know that this is too much, but can’t for the life of them stop!

Interestingly, a recent study from the University of Michigan has looked into the foods that may be implicated in food addiction. Previous studies have shown that foods high in fat and refined carbs such as sugar may invoke addictive- like eating behaviour. Unprocessed foods that contain no added fat or refined sugar was not seen to cause addictive eating, conversely, people with a higher BMI were seen to have significantly higher ‘addictive- like’ eating habits when eating high fat and refined foods compared to others.

Future studies should look into whether these types of foods trigger changes in brain circuitry, similar to those seen in drug addicts and alcoholics.


Erica M. Schulte, Nicole M. Avena, Ashley N. Gearhardt. Which Foods May Be Addictive? The Roles of Processing, Fat Content, and Glycemic Load. PLOS ONE, 2015; 10 (2): e0117959 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0117959

About the Author

Job Role Qualified Dietitian and Sports Nutritionist Qualifications BSc (Hons) Sports Science | BSc (Hons) Dietetics Tom has always participated in sport both recreationally and competitively which led to an unquenchable thirst for information on anything health, nutrition and fitness. After leaving school Tom went on to play for a football academy during which time he studied Sport and Exercise Science. From here he went on to study a BSc (Hons) Sport Science at UEA followed by his second BSc (Hons) degree, this time at the University of Hertfordshire studying Dietetics. Tom has worked in the fitness, educational and clinical nutrition industry starting out at David Lloyd Health and Leisure Clubs. He then went on to work as a Dietitian (RD) in the NHS, during which time he conducted clinics for healthy eating, weight loss and weight gain, as well as specialised consultations on Diabetes, IBS and Coeliac disease to name a few. He has vast amounts of experience at devising diet plans and supplement regimens, as well as working in the community with schools and competitive athletes. As Head Nutritionist and Supplement expert at Discount Supplements Tom is here to provide current and evidence based health and nutrition information to help you reach your health and fitness goals!
Post a Comment

Please wait...