Omnivore - Food - it's the new crack
New studies suggest food is literally addictive
There's been incessant arguing for years about whether overeating is literally an addiction. Nobody questions the addictive properties of alcohol and drugs, but eating six cupcakes at one sitting has been usually described as a failure of willpower, perhaps in the face of some kind of psychological problem.
However, Daily Spark reports that evidence is rapidly accruing in support of the addiction model, not only for overeating, but many other behaviors as well :
Many health professionals and researchers now consider it possible for people to become addicted to gambling, sexual activity, shopping, online gaming/internet use, and other such behaviors. The common denominator in all addictive behavior, according to this new perspective, is that in people with a neurobiological susceptibility to addiction, any behavior that triggers a strong response in the primitive pleasure/reward centers of the brain can be heavily reinforced by this pleasure response. Over time, this potent reinforcement can overwhelm the individual's "normal" judgment and self-control processes, and make the behavior very difficult to control. In effect, it's not the external substance or behavior we get addicted to, it's the chemical reaction in our own brains.
The article links to six sources, including one about brain-imaging studies and another about rats turned into food pigs.