We already knew sugar can be as addictive as a dangerous drug. Now, new evidence backs up just how psychologically powerful junk food cravings can be.
In a study published this week, researchers found an individual’s desire to eat processed treats like a Snickers bar or bag of Cheetos increases significantly after he or she has been exposed to the foods.
According to the New Food Economy, after participants in the study looked at photos and touched and smelled the foods, the amount they’d theoretically “pay” to eat them increased a whopping 38 percent. In other words, once the unhealthy foods were in front of them, they really, really wanted to eat them…to the extent that the value of the foods increased. That same phenomenon didn’t occur when participants in a control group were exposed to healthier snacks.
Researchers noted that the effect is significant because “even if people strive to eat healthier or endorse drug-free lifestyles, craving could overshadow the value of health by boosting the value of unhealthy foods or drugs.”
So, what to do?
Essentially, it sounds like it’s a good idea to stay as far away from the candy aisle as possible. The more you can avoid being around Pepsi cans and Kit Kats, the better.
(Featured Photo: Shutterstock)