Food addiction is often not given the due attention it deserves. Food addiction, like alcohol addiction, is a response generated by our brain towards certain foods. It may be triggered due to stress, anxiety or anger. The compulsive need to eat may also give way to many eating disorders like binge-eating. People struggling from food addiction often resort to food as a sort of coping mechanism. They feel the urge to munch, even when they are not particularly hungry, and feel happy when they do. Often ‘addition’ is associated with alcohol and drugs, but according to a latest survey, a lot of our favourite snacks may be making us ‘addicts’ too. According to a study conducted by the University of Michigan, up to 20 per cent of people may be struggling with food addiction or exhibit addictive-like eating behaviours. The researchers used the Yale Food Addiction Scale (YFAS) as a reference. In the study, 92% of participants exhibited addictive-like eating behaviour towards some food(s).
Pizza was found to be the most addictive food consumed by the public. On a scale of 1 (not at all addictive) to 7 (extremely addictive), pizza ranks 4.01. Chocolate and potato chips are next on the list ranking in at 3.73 out of 7. Ice-cream scored 3.68 and was ranked fourth. French fries came fifth and scored 3.60 on the list. Cheeseburgers scored a 3.51 and non-diet soda 3.29. Nuts were found to be the least addictive.
Interestingly, all high ranking foods were found to be high in processed ingredients, fats and added sugar.
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