Food Addiction Can Be Reversed, Study Says | The Fix
facebook twitter RSS
HOT TOPICS: Alcoholism  Addiction  AA  Cocaine  Heroin

Food Addiction Can Be Reversed, Study Says

A focus on eating healthier in concert with education can help food addicts turn toward healthier foods.

Image: 

Shutterstock

By Shawn Dwyer

09/02/14

| Share

A new study has concluded that the brain can be retrained to enjoy healthy foods despite an addiction to unhealthy, high-calorie foods.

Conducted by the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University in Boston and at Massachusetts General Hospital, the study scanned the addiction center of both men and women, and learned that utilizing both a low-calorie, high-fiber diet and counseling could reverse cravings for unhealthy foods.  

"We don't start out in life loving French fries and hating, for example, whole wheat pasta," said the study's senior author, Susan B. Roberts, a behavioral nutritionist at Tufts and director of the Energy Metabolism Laboratory at the USDA HNRCA. "This conditioning happens over time in response to eating—repeatedly—what is out there in the toxic food environment."

Researchers spent six months studying 13 participants who were either overweight or obese and studied the part of their brains linked to reward and addiction. Participants were given a healthy diet that consisted in part of sweet potatoes and high-fiber cereal instead of French fries and sugary cereal. They were also given classes that taught them how to reduce the importance of diets favoring unhealthy foods.

At the end of six months, the participants were given brain scans and were shown photos of healthy foods. The results found that the participants showed more sensitivity to and enjoyment of a better diet.

"There is much more research to be done here, involving many more participants, long-term follow-up and investigating more areas of the brain," Prof Roberts concluded.

Rehabilitation Directories

Most Popular
Sober Living
Normies React to the 12 Steps

"I think admitting to having a problem in general is the right first step, but to admit powerlessness is unhealthy. .. I think admitting powerlessness is more harmful because it doesn't help. Admitting that you want and need help is more useful after admittance."

The Rehab Review
Cliffside Malibu
 
 
 
 

The “beach-house-relaxed” Cliffside Malibu claims to provide an oasis for recovering addicts and alcoholics. And that’s just what you'll get—if you’ve got the cash.

Morningside Recovery
 
 
 
 

For a “rehab near the beach” experience that isn’t quite as costly as similar SoCal competitors, head to this Newport Beach treatment facility.

AToN Center
 
 
 
 

Whether you’re interested in the 12 Steps, SMART Recovery, or holistic treatments, this luxurious, appealing and commendable 4.5 star (our system doesn't yet show the 1/2 star) San Diego rehab has a program for you. 

Reflections
 
 
 
 

This exclusive Northern California rehab is all about client choice—as well as golf outings, Buddhist field trips and keeping up with the office.

Capo By The Sea
 
 
 
 

Capo By The Sea offers an executive rehab program complete with medical detox and a focus on dual-diagnosis issues, as well as an outpatient option in an environment that exudes the kind of beach house optimism one would expect from an Orange County recovery outfit.

Journey Malibu
 
 
 
 

Want many of the luxury amenities A-listers have come to expect—including an enormous backyard with a pool and patio, an herb garden, a volleyball net and a spectacular vista of the Santa Monica mountains—with a recovery program to match?

The Ultimate Guide to Rehab
 
 
 
 
 

What you need to know when choosing an addiction treatment center.

the fix tv