Junk food turns rats into addicts

Bacon, cheesecake and Ho Hos alter pleasure centers in rats' brains

By Laura Sanders, 06:15 AM October 21, 2009

CHICAGO — Junk food elicits addictive behavior in rats similar to the behaviors of rats addicted to heroin, a new study finds. Pleasure centers in the brains of rats addicted to high-fat, high-calorie diets became less responsive as the binging wore on, making the rats consume more and more food. The results, presented October 20 at the Society for Neuroscience’s annual meeting, may help explain the changes in the brain that lead people to overeat.

“This is the most complete evidence to dat...

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