For some, brain treats food like drug

April 5, 2011 4:32:33 AM PDT
Many people believe they are addicted to food. New research in the Archives of General Psychiatry finds that claim may not be farfetched.

For some people food does seem to act like a drug on the brain.

Thirty-nine women were screened based on whether they had high or low food addiction scores. Then, as their brains were scanned, they were shown images of a chocolate milkshake or water. Those with the higher food addiction scores had more brain activity in the regions associated with craving.

The scans also showed less activity in a region that reduces the desire to eat.

Researchers say these brain patterns are similar to what's seen in drug addicts.