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Originally From Dr. Mark Hyman's Article in the Huffington Post

  1. Sugar stimulates the brain's reward centers through the neurotransmitter dopamine, exactly like other addictive drugs.
  2. Brain imagining (PET scans) shows that high-sugar and high-fat foods work just like heroin, opium, or morphine in the brain.
  3. Brain imaging (PET scans) shows that obese people and drug addicts have lower numbers of dopamine receptors, making them more likely to crave things that boost dopamine.
  4. Foods high in fat and sweets stimulate the release of the body's own opioids (chemicals like morphine) in the brain.
  5. Drugs we use to block the brain's receptors for heroin and morphine (naltrexone) also reduce the consumption and preference for sweet, high-fat foods in both normal weight and obese binge eaters.
  6. People (and rats) develop a tolerance to sugar -- they need more and more of the substance to satisfy themselves -- just like they do for drugs of abuse like alcohol or heroin.
  7. Obese individuals continue to eat large amounts of unhealthy foods despite severe social and personal negative consequences, just like addicts or alcoholics.
  8. Animals and humans experience "withdrawal" when suddenly cut off from sugar, just like addicts detoxifying from drugs.
  9. Just like drugs, after an initial period of "enjoyment" of the food, the user no longer consumes them to get high but to feel normal.