Pizza, chocolate, chips and cheese top list of addictive foods people find hard to put down

Highly processed foods with added amounts of fat and refined carbohydrates were ‘most associated with addictive-like behaviour’

Loulla-Mae Eleftheriou-Smith
Monday 26 October 2015 14:08 GMT

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:

1. Pizza

2. Chocolate

3. Chips

4. Cookie

5. Ice cream

6. French fries

7. Cheeseburger

8. Soda (not diet)

9. Cake

10. Cheese

11. Bacon

12. Fried chicken

13. Rolls (plain)

14. Popcorn (buttered)

15. Breakfast cereal

16. Gummy candy

17. Steak

18. Muffin

19. Nuts

20. Eggs

21. Chicken breast

22. Pretzels

23. Crackers (plain)

24. Water

25. Granla bar

26. Strawberries

27. Corn (no butter or salt)

28. Salmon

29. Banana

30. Broccoli

31. Brown Rice (plain, no sauce)

32. Apple

33. Beans (no sauce)

34. Carrots

35. Cucumber (no dip)

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