It’s official: pizza is addictive. And so is chocolate, chips, cookies, ice cream, cheese and cake.
Researchers at the University of Michigan has identified the foods people find hardest to put down, the majority of which are highly processed.
For their study into the role that processing, fat content and glycemic load plays in addictive foods, the researchers conducted two tests on 120 students. Presenting them with a version of the Yale Food Addiction Scale, which measures addictive-like eating behaviours, students were given a list of 35 foods – half of which were highly processed and half of which were considered unprocessed.
The participants then selected the foods they found “problematic”. According to Science.Mic, though only 7 per cent of the students were classed as food addicts who met the relevant criteria, 92 per cent of students expressed a wish to stop eating the “problematic” foods, but claimed they felt unable to do so.
The study’s authors said: “Highly processed foods, or foods with added amounts of fat and/or refined carbohydrates, were most associated with addictive-like eating behaviors. Nine out of the ten foods at the top of the list were highly processed and high in both fat and refined carbohydrates. Soda (not diet) was the exception, which is highly processed and high in refined carbohydrates, but not fat.”
The list of foods tested, ranging from most addictive to least addictive, is below:
5. Ice cream
6. French fries
8. Soda (not diet)
12. Fried chicken
13. Rolls (plain)
14. Popcorn (buttered)
15. Breakfast cereal
16. Gummy candy
21. Chicken breast
23. Crackers (plain)
25. Granla bar
27. Corn (no butter or salt)
31. Brown Rice (plain, no sauce)
33. Beans (no sauce)
35. Cucumber (no dip)
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