Recently, there was an important study about food and addiction. This study showed that rats’ brain function when permitted to consume oreos would react similarly to that of an addict on drugs such as cocaine. The scary part is that the rats would eat the center of the cookie, which is white cream. Of course, the food industry is disputing the findings. These types of finds have been outlined in many books such as The End of Overeating, Born with a Junk Food Deficiency, movies such as Fast Food Nation, and Forks over Knives etc. Is this important? It is because there is a focus on personal healthcare accountability and shaming of those overweight. (See my post Who are you calling fat, Willis?) Large multinational food organizations engineer food via product development to be addictive to humans on purpose. The research via rats supports the argument of obesity as a disease such as addiction, which is a disease. Let’s look at an example that is faced by some Americans every day.
Here goes. Retailers across America sell a known addictive productive such as oreos or another processed food. It is accessible everywhere, however some communities have limited access to alternative non addictive/healthier products. Citizens unknowingly consume this product resulting in becoming addicted, obese, and sick, however there are no resources to support detoxifying from this or are there any easily accessible alternatives. Also society will shame this individual for their poor life decisions; however the person knows little or nothing about the addictive nature of the food available to them. In a general sense, this situation is posed to poor and uneducated consumers in some communities across the nation.
The conversation needs to change about processed food, obesity, and health in society.
- The food industry needs to admit to engineering products that are in some instances known carcinogenic, addictive, and unnatural products such as “Chicken Nuggets”, potato chips.
- Second, institutions need to embrace the medical classification of obesity along with that of food addiction.
- Please stop shaming those that are overweight and try to have empathy about their situation.
- A public health effort is need to educate and create more access to better food. The solution to this problem is being found in places like Chester, PA and with the former leader at Trader Joe creating profitable and healthy alternatives.
See articles below about the addictive nature of the food engineered by companies.
Rats and oreo article link: http://www.latimes.com/food/dailydish/la-dd-oreo-cookies-addictive-cocaine-20131016,0,3166408.story
Lastly a short video that is very interesting.