An article in the Independent this week warns that it’s more important than ever to be careful when chomping into junk food. There is a danger that you might just get addicted..
In tests on rats researchers found that the rodents quickly became highly dependant on high calorie snacks made from sausage, bacon and cheesecake (I know, what a mix!!) and rejected healthy foods even when the supply of junk food was turned off. The rats found the junk food so irresistible that they would risk receiving an electric shock to get hold of it. The junk food rats “totally lost control over their eating behaviour, the primary hallmark of addiction” said Professor Paul Kenny of the Scripps Research Institute in Jupiter, Florida where the study was carried out. Moreover brain scans revealed that the rats soon became desensitised to the “high” that they got from the high calorie food in the same way that drug addicts do, with a drop in the number of pleasure processing D-2 receptors in the brain. As a result, they had to consume more and more of the junk food to get the same reward.
So be careful and as we always say to our personal training clients try to do everything in moderation. If you eat sensibly most of the time (we try to encourage a 80/20% ratio of good sensible nutrition combined with the odd fast food or less healthy meal) and do good quality structured exercise (easier to sitck to with a personal trainer of course) then you will be both fit and slim but also be able to sustain your good efforts.