[ENT] Why do you like junk food so much? | The NY Journal

Even though junk food is something of poor nutritional quality and unhealthy, it is the weakness for many people.

The term “junk” is used to describe food that is poor in nutrients, which is also high in sugar, fat and sodium. Think of fries, candy, soda, nuggets, ice cream, hamburgers, hot dogs, pizza, muffins, etc.

Why do we eat junk food if it hurts us?

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It is enjoyable and addictive

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Eating junk food causes the brain to release dopamine, which generates in the body a feeling of well-being, pleasure and satiety.

Ingest food rich in calories and fat generates a addictive behavior like that caused by cocaine and heroin, according to a study led by Paul Johnson and Paul Kenny of the Scripps Research Institute of Florida.

Rats willing to suffer electric shocks from junk food

Researchers gave one group of rats their customary nutrient-dense, low-calorie food, and another fed bacon, sausage and cakes.

Scrap-fed rats they developed compulsive eating habits and became obese. They also developed tolerance to the pleasure of food and they needed to eat more and more to trigger the same feeling of well-being.

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To measure the addiction of the animals, they were offered fatty food accompanied by a electric shock on the paws of both groups of rats. The healthy eating rats stopped eating it, but the addicts kept doing it despite the pain. When the junk food was removed and nutritious food was offered, the obese rats stopped eating for more than two weeks.

Why do you want to keep eating even when you are full?

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They taste very good

Junk food has the key ingredients can create an experience of palatability (palatable) artificially improved greater than any ingredient alone would produce Researchers call this hyperpalatability and we call it delicious.

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Foods with two or more key ingredients related to palatability, specifically, sugar, salt, fat, or carbohydrates can activate reward brain circuits brain similar to drugs like cocaine or opioids. They can also bypass mechanisms in our bodies that make us feel full and tell us to stop eating, explain researchers from the Cofrin Logan Center.

“Hedonic hyperphagia”

Hedonic hyperphagia is the scientific term for “overeating for pleasure, rather than hunger“Says researcher Tobias Hoch, in the presentation to the American Chemical Society of a study of how potato chips and other foods affect the reward center in the brain.

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Eating patterns learned at home

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The taste preferences are determined by what we eat since we were kids. Subduing the taste for nutritious and healthy foods within a balanced diet favors the physical and mental development of children and prevents obesity. It also helps prevent heart disease in the future, explains the American Heart Association.

If from a young age they have high blood pressure due to the high consumption of junk there is a greater probability of early development of heart disease and with it risk of premature death.

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It’s everywhere and easy to carry

Another “advantage” of junk food is that it is produced quickly, is everywhere and is very easy to carry. It is in the streets, in stores, supermarkets and in the number of fast food restaurants. It is so available that one in three Americans eats fast food every day according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

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