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New Scientific Data shows “Junk Food is Addicitve and Causes Obesity!” – Tell me something we don’t already know.. April 18, 2010

Posted by fitmontclair in Fat Loss, Health & Exercise, Nutrition, Women's Health.
Tags: , , , , ,

Hi All,

I just want to thank you for forwarding my blog to friends and family, the readership has almost doubled in the last month! The feedback has been extremely encouraging as well!

I am still accepting RSVPs for my May in Montclair Events – I do not know what is causing the delay of the official website calendar or pamphlet distribution but all my events are set and posted.

There are 4 ways to RSVP:

E-mail: Gordon@Advanced-Fitness-Concepts.com

Phone: 973-865-6691


Montclair Navigator

The first event is the outdoor event at Brookdale Park  on Saturday May 1st“The Natural Gym – going beyond body weight”Please RSVP no later than Wed April 28th and read the information in detail for there are certain health criteria that MUST be met to be able attend this class and avoid injury! (Next week I will post a detailed outline of the event and what to expect)

On to a new topic!

Since the last 2 topics concerning nutrition have been extremely popular I felt it was important to include some relevant new research and also to point out some shady opportunists that are only concerned with their interests (and bank accounts).

Scripps Institute, Jupiter Fla.

Recently the news has been touting the finds of Researchers at the Scripps Research InstituteThe work of Drs. Paul Johnson and Paul Kenny were presented on Oct. 20th 2009 at the annual meeting for the Society for Neuroscience. Their findings were as follows:

Junk food elicits addictive behavior in rats similar to the behaviors of rats addicted to heroin. Their study finds that the pleasure centers in the brains of rats addicted to high-fat, high-calorie diets became less responsive as the binging wore on, making the rats consume more and more food, which may help explain the changes in the brain that lead people to overeat. (Before anyone complains about rat research – if we accept rat studies as being accurate for all the dangerous and addictive pharmaceuticals that are prescribed by the medical community every year as  well the basis for studies on alcohol & narcotic addiction- we have to accept it for “junk food addiction” as well!)

From Science News Nov. 21st 2009:

“This is the most complete evidence to date that suggests obesity and drug addiction have common neurobiological underpinnings,” says study coauthor Paul Johnson.

To see how junk food affects the brain’s natural reward system — the network of nerve cells that release feel-good chemicals — Johnson started at the grocery store. He loaded up on typical Western fare, including Ho Hos, sausage, pound cake, bacon and cheesecake. Johnson fed rats either a standard diet of high-nutrient, low-calorie chow, or unlimited amounts of the palatable junk food. Rats that ate the junk food soon developed compulsive eating habits and became obese. “They’re taking in twice the amount of calories as the control rats,” says Johnson’s coauthor Paul Kenny, also of Scripps.

Johnson and Kenny wanted to know if this overeating affected the pleasure centers of the rats’ brains, the regions responsible for drug addiction. The researchers used electrical stimulations to activate these reward centers and induce pleasure. Rats could control the amount of feel-good stimulation by running on a wheel — the more they ran, the more stimulation they got. The rats fed junk food ran more, indicating that they needed more brain stimulation to feel good.

After just five days on the junk food diet, rats showed “profound reductions” in the sensitivity of their brains’ pleasure centers, suggesting that the animals quickly became habituated to the food. As a result, the rats ate more food to get the same amount of pleasure. Just as heroin addicts require more and more of the drug to feel good, rats needed more and more of the junk food. “They lose control,” Kenny says. “This is the hallmark of addiction.”

These reward pathway deficits persisted for weeks after the rats stopped eating the junk food, the researchers found. “It’s almost as if you break these things, it’s very, very hard to go back to the way things were before,” Kenny says. When the junk food was taken away and the rats had access only to nutritious chow (what Kenny calls the “salad option”), the obese rats refused to eat. “They starve themselves for two weeks afterward,” Kenny says. “Their dietary preferences are dramatically shifted.”

Scientists are interested in determining the long-term effect of altering the reward system. “We might not see it when we look at the animal,” says obesity expert Ralph DiLeone of Yale University School of Medicine. “They might be a normal weight, but how they respond to food in the future may be permanently altered.”

The research was also published in the online Journal: Nature Neuroscience on March 28th 2010 – click here to read the actual published research article.

So we see that junk food is addictive and can possibly permanently alter eating patterns; I am sure many of you are in shock and are outraged and for others it is just confirming what you already knew or suspected all along! I think the dead give away is the little, swollen, bloated round things we see all over town; we used to call them children – now they have a new name: Type II Diabetics!

Type II Diabetes used to be called “Adult onset” because it was extremely rare in anyone    below 40 years old! The fastest growing number of Type II Diabetics is kids and teens and this new research from the Scripps scientists helps explain some of it. If kids become addicted to “junk food” and it PERMANENTLY alters their brain patterns they will keep eating junk through their teenage years becoming the morbidly obese teens & Type II Diabetics filling the high schools!

If you don’t think obesity begins in early childhood – Here is an Associated Press article I wrote about from 2006:

A new study shows that 1/4 of all American children are considered obese! The kids are so fat that they can not fit into regular sized child car safety seats; so “quick to make a buck” two seat manufacturers are making new “hefty size” seats for fat kids!

From the Associated Press – Updated: 7:39 p.m. ET April 3, 2006 CHICAGO – Many young children are too

Oversized infant car seat – weight capacity 60lbs!

heavy for standard car-safety seats, and manufacturers are starting to make heftier models to accommodate them, according to research on the obesity epidemic’s widening impact. More than a quarter of a million U.S. children ages 1 to 6 are heavier than the weight limits for standard car seats, and most are 3-year-olds who weigh more than 40 pounds, the study found. Unless exceptionally tall, a 3-year-old weighing more than 40 pounds would generally be considered overweight. Lead author Lara Trifiletti said researchers at a safety center at Johns Hopkins Hospital became interested in the topic because they saw children “who were very obese and our car-seat technicians were having a hard time finding car seats to fit them.”

Back to the present time, the really sad & scary fact is this link between “junk food” and addiction has been known since the 1960’s but conveniently covered up by the FDA, The Pharmaceutical Industry and Food Manufacturing Corporations (Did you really think only the tobacco industry lied, bribed, and destroyed information about the addictive nature of their products).

Dr. Kessler former FDA commissioner (Big agro-pharma shill & poster child for FDA corruption!)

Of course opportunists are now coming forward to capitalize on these findings. I can’t stand opportunists and former FDA Commissioner David Kessler, M.D. is the latest one to pray on the country!  Dr. Kessler was head of the FDA  during the Clinton and Bush Administrations and was NO FRIEND to anyone concerned with health & fitness. He supported multiple bills and attempts to limit access to or remove vitamins and supplements from health food stores (and of course make them prescription drugs for big pharma) Luckily he was defeated at every turn by public outcry and action!

To help keep his bank account full since he is no longer receiving his pharmaceutical industry kickbacks or employed by the government Dr. Kessler has written a “tell all” book on food addiction in the USA, The End of Overeating (although it is very lite on names and hard info – I guess he doesn’t want to burn all his bridges)

My main question is this; since the foods & products he names as obesity triggers have been on the market almost all the years he served as FDA commissioner, it appears to me (and many health advocates) he is just now conveniently telling the truth for book sales…..

The Food Pyramid during Dr. Kessler’s administration – turning children into Type II diabetics, escalating heart disease & cancer and making grain producers RICH!!

I call that being an “opportunist”. In fact in a moment you will see the scientific research that was available since the  1960’s – I find it VERY hard to believe the number one doctor at the FDA never saw, heard of, or had access to this info – I call that being a liar! Also remember a main cause of the obesity and diabetic epidemic is the over consumption of grains & carbohydrates promoted as the base of the food pyramid- THE FDA APPROVED, SUPPORTED, AND FUNDED FOOD PYRAMID!

Seems to me the FDA commissioner from those years would have a say in the development of the pyramid or did he think we would forget that

So here is just a little of the research proving how long we have known “Junk Food” is addictive:

As I wrote about in my earlier post on MSG and Obesity:

“In 1968 Dr. John Olney started conducting experiments on mice using MSG. (Mice are frequently used as test animals because they react most like humans to MSG.) Obsessed with the microscopic changes in the brains of the mice he overlooked something quite dramatic first noticed by his assistant. She pointed out to him that all of the mice were grossly obese. At first he thought it was just a fluke, but as the experiment progressed he noticed that indeed all the mice fed MSG became grossly obese. Since his early observation, other studies have confirmed that MSG causes gross obesity in animals”

Please note that some form of MSG is present in all “Junk Food!”

Obese Rat from Dr. Olney’s MSG Research!

The research continued on into the 70’s & 80’s:

Bunyan J, Elspeth A, Murrell A, Shah PP. The induction of obesity in rodents by means of monosodium glutamate.   British Journal of Nutrition 35(1976): 25-39.

Kanarek RB, Marks-Kaufman R. Increased carbohydrate consumption induced by neonatal administration of monosodium glutamate to rats. Neurobehavioral Toxicology Teratology3(1981): 343-350

Nikoletseas MM. Obesity in exercising, hypophagic rats treated with monosodium glutamate. Physiology & Behavior 19(1977): 767-773

On to the 80-90’s and Dr. Candace Pert.

Dr. Pert did EXTENSIVE research in addiction and is credited with discovering the the opioid receptors in the brain. To read more about her and her ground breaking research click here. In 1999 Dr. Pert published her book on brain chemistry and addiction, Molecules of Emotion.

In this book she shows how addictive white sugar is and states that it has same addictive strength as Heroin – a Schedule I drug – Schedule I Drugs have NO MEDICAL USE AND ARE HIGHLY ADDICTIVE (this is the same conclusion the Scripps scientists came to in 2009!)

In addition to the USA, The United Kingdom has been investigating and writing about the addictive properties of “junk food” since at least 2003:

Here are excerpts & highlights from a 2003 Investigative article:

Bupa investigative news – 19 July 2003
written by Rachel Newcombe, reporter for Bupa’s Health Information Team

Eating is a natural part of life, but according to some researchers, some types of food eaten – namely sugary and fatty foods – may act like a drug and may be addictive. With obesity rising and junk food ever present, is it really possible that some people may be addicted to food?

Obesity is a growing concern in the UK and one of the major contributing factors is likely to be diet

Various researchers have studied animals and, to some extent, humans. The results are that there is some evidence that suggests it’s possible that people could become addicted to sugar and fat

This may be due to opioids – chemicals in the brain. Research shows they’re released when certain foods are consumed, and they also play a part in drug and alcohol addiction.

The stories appear to have been triggered by a small segment of a BBC2 television programme, “Big Mac Under Attack”, screened on 15th July, and a letter put together by John Banzhaf, professor of law at George Washington University. This letter puts forward his argument that there is mounting evidence that fast food is addictive. He points to various pieces of research that originally appeared in an article in the New Scientist magazine in February 2003.

A number of studies have been carried out in rats to look at processed foods and addiction. Dr. Ann Kelley, professor of neuroscience at Wisconsin University, together with Matthew Will, has been studying rats and diet for a number of years. One study found that a high-fat diet appears to alter the brain biochemistry in a similar way to drugs such as morphine. They say this is due to the release of opioids – chemicals in the brain – that reduce the feeling of being full.

According to Dr. Ann Kelley, rats “love the high-fat food and they eat and eat. We found there are actually brain changes that are elicited by exposure to a chronic high-fat diet.” She believes that it is possible to compare the findings about rats to humans; making it very plausible that humans can become addicted to high-sugar and fatty foods. “Those particular types of food – the fat and the sugar – are really the culprits,” she said. “They’re responsible for the behavioural changes that occur, the obesity and also the brain changes that look like addiction.”

Dr. Bart G. Hoebel, a neuroscientist from Princeton University led a similar study into sugar addiction, which was published in the journal Obesity Research in June 2002. Again, rats were used and were gradually fed a diet with increasing amounts of sugar. The more sugar given, the quicker the rats ate it and when it was suddenly withdrawn from their food, they experienced “addiction-type” reactions, such as chattering teeth, anxiety and shaking. According to Hoebel, sugar triggers the production of the brain’s natural opioids. “We think that is a key to the addiction process,” he said. “The brain is getting addicted to its own opioids as it would to morphine or heroin. Drugs give a bigger effect, but it is essentially the same process.” “The implication,” he added, “is that some animals, and some people, can become overly dependent on sweet food, particularly if they periodically stop eating and then binge. This may relate to eating disorders such as bulimia.”

More studies in rats by Dr. Sarah Leibowitz, a neurobiologist at Rockefeller University, New York, showed that exposure to fatty foods might reconfigure the hormonal system to want more fat. Her studies have shown that rats fed on a high-fat diet become more resistant to leptin – the hormone that stops eating. At the same time, levels of galanin – a brain peptide that stimulates eating and slows down energy expenditure – increases. She thinks that early exposure to fatty food could predispose children to always needing fatty products.

Kathleen DesMaisons PhD, author of “The Sugar Addict’s Total Recovery Program” strongly believes that sugar is addictive. “Sugar evokes a brain chemical called beta endorphin, the same chemical affected by morphine and heroin,” she explained. “The sugar creates a wonderful feeling of euphoria and wellbeing, but when it wears off, you feel edgy, irritable and cranky – this is actual withdrawal. If you use the drug [sugar] again, it relieves the symptoms, so you get caught in a cycle of needing it.” Additionally, she believes some people are biochemically predisposed to sugar, particularly if they have a family history of alcoholism, depression or obesity.

So there you have it research from 1968 – 2009 done in different countries, by different researchers at multiple Universities and Research Centers all with the same conclusion: “Junk Food” is chemically addictive in the brain at or near the same levels of Heroin and it may PERMANENTLY alter eating habits!

DO NOT think you are powerless to stop it! Most of the addiction begins in infancy and early childhood; during these years kids DO NOT buy food, they eat only what they are given.  It is up to the parents to supply the right foods!

Sugar is SUGAR, even if organic it still makes you FAT, promotes diseases like Type II diabetes, and is as addictive as HEROIN!!

Investigate what schools are REALLY serving and become educated on proper nutrition! Just because food may be labeled natural or organic DOES NOT mean it is good for a child to eat. Organic sugar is STILL SUGAR (although without pesticides etc) with all the addictive properties and all carbohydrates break into sugar during digestion. A “Natural”  label means NOTHING – lead, mercury, arsenic, sawdust, insect parts, and animal waste are categorized as natural and allowed in many foods!

Last, PLEASE DON”T SAY “that’s o.k., I give my kids 0 sugar snacks with artificial sweeteners” – I don’t have the time or space to get in to it but NEVER trade obesity and Type II Diabetes for brain damage and increased risk of seizures and auto-immune diseases like Lupus, MS, and Fibromyalgia to name a few. Also research has shown people gain more weight on things like diet soda because the artificial sweeteners can trigger the hormonal responses that increase body fat storage.

If you want to learn the truth about the dangers of artificial sweeteners (Aspartame, Sucralose and Saccharin  – trade names: Equal, Splenda, and Sweet -n- Low) get the DVD “Sweet Misery: A Poisoned World” and you will learn the horrifying truth and the people associated with poisoning society – does the name “Rumsfeld” ring a bell. Well that’s all for now, as always I hope I made you think.

Until next time,




Using Science to Maximize Health & Performance


There is plenty of peer reviewed scientific & medical studies that show there is a DIRECT relationship between: Nutrition, Brain Development, Intelligence, and Movement in children!  I hope you all will join me at the 2010 Montclair EcoFair, where I plan on presenting a short program I developed “Stronger, Faster, SMARTER – The link between Nutrition, Movement and Intelligence in Kids! (If we don’t get rained out again!)

Look for 2010 Montclair EcoFair information coming soon!



1. Chris Krummel - September 14, 2011

Hello there, I love your weblog. Is there something I can do to receive updates like a subscription or some thing? I am sorry I’m not acquainted with RSS?

fitmontclair - September 20, 2011

Hi Chris,

Thanks for reading my blog! I am not that great with RSS feed either – I let WordPress & my webdesigner handle all the tech issues.

For now I would just check in on the homepage for updates. I used to have an e-mail list that I would use to announce new posts but I have been so busy of late that I have not had time for weekly, even monthly posts – I hope to change that in the future!

If I start using the e-mail notification again I will gladly add your e-mail address to the list!

Have a great day!


2. Jane the health store - December 2, 2011

Very nice post. I simply stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really loved surfing around your blog posts. After all I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I am hoping you write once more very soon!

fitmontclair - December 4, 2011

Hi Jane,

Thanks so much! I am glad you enjoy my blog; please feel free to place links to it or forward it to anyone who can benefit from the info!

I plan on posting on regular basis starting this month provided I don’t get overwhelmed again with e-mail, magazine article requests etc.

Right now I am working a VERY IMPORTANT and SCARY post: “Guess what I got the kids this year, BRAIN CANCER! or The TRUTH about cell phone radiation!!!”

I am also planning on writing the long awaited: ” TRUTH about eggs”, “What your microwave is really cooking”, “FRANKENFOOD or the horror of GMO!” and updates on many past topics.

Have a great day!


3. hpcgi1.nifty.com - March 18, 2015


New Scientific Data shows “Junk Food is Addicitve and Causes Obesity!” – Tell me something we don’t already know.. | FITMONTCLAIR Blog by Advanced Fitness Concepts

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