According to new research, 1 in 10 people are hooked on ultra-processed foods.
A new analysis of 281 studies across 36 different countries has uncovered that a staggering 14% of adults are hooked on UPFs. (Ultra-processed foods)
Ultra-processed foods consist of sausage and ice cream. Cookies, soft drinks, sugary cereals…Addiction to UPFs includes uncontrollable and excessive consumption, cravings, and continued intake despite potential negative health effects.
Study authors believe the combination of refined carbohydrates and fats often found in UPFs seems to have a supra-additive effect on brain reward systems, above either macronutrient alone, which may increase the addictive potential of these foods…
But exactly why largely remains a mystery to experts, some of whom believe that it may not be a single ingredient that makes candy or crackers addicting — unlike nicotine in tobacco — but rather the contraindications of multiple.
Past research has also found that sugary or fatty foods make healthier alternatives less appealing, and brain rewiring could have health-related consequences, such as over-indulging and weight gain.
Eating ultra-processed foods triggers a rush of dopamine followed by a sudden drop-off, resulting in an endless cycle of craving, getting a fix and crashing — similar to that of someone who is addicted to alcohol or drugs.
Addictive products are not addictive for everyone,” said the study author. “Almost 90% of people can try alcohol and not develop a problematic relationship; many can try cigarettes or even cocaine.”
Experts say that trying to quit UPFs now is like trying to quit smoking in the 1960s…
Most things in moderation are safe. Healthline recommends that no more than 10% to 20% of calories should come from processed food.