This number is even higher among people with obesity.
Photo credit: Shutterstock
People who have food addiction are unable to control their consumption of certain foods.
However, people don't just get addicted to any food. Some foods are much more likely to cause symptoms of addiction than others.
Foods That Can Cause Addictive-Like Eating
Researchers at the University of Michigan studied addictive-like eating in 518 participants (4).
They used the Yale Food Addiction Scale (YFAS) as a reference. This is the most commonly used tool to assess food addiction.
All participants got a list of 35 foods, both processed and unprocessed.
They rated how likely they were to experience problems with each of the 35 foods, on a scale from 1 (not at all addictive) to 7 (extremely addictive).
In this study, 7-10 percent of participants were diagnosed with full-blown food addiction.
What's more, 92 percent of participants had addictive-like eating behavior towards some foods. They repeatedly had the desire to quit eating them, but were unable to (4).
Below, you'll see the results about which foods were the most and least addictive.
Bottom Line: In a recent study, 92 percent of participants had addictive-like eating behavior towards certain foods. 7-10 percent had full-blown food addiction.
Not surprisingly, most of the foods rated as addictive were processed foods. These foods were usually high in sugar, fat or both.
The number following each food is the average score given in the study mentioned above, on a scale from 1 (not at all addictive) to 7 (extremely addictive).
The 18 Most Addictive Foods
- Pizza (4.01)
- Chocolate (3.73)
- Chips (3.73)
- Cookies (3.71)
- Ice cream (3.68)
- French fries (3.60)
- Cheeseburgers (3.51)
- Soda (not diet) (3.29)
- Cake (3.26)
- Cheese (3.22)
- Bacon (3.03)
- Fried chicken (2.97)
- Rolls (plain) (2.73)
- Popcorn (buttered) (2.64)
- Breakfast cereal (2.59)
- Gummy candy (2.57)
- Steak (2.54)
- Muffins (2.50)
Bottom Line: The 18 most addictive foods were also the most processed ones, with the highest amounts of fat and added sugar.
The 17 Least Addictive Foods
The least addictive foods were mostly whole, unprocessed foods.
- Cucumbers (1.53)
- Carrots (1.60)
- Beans (no sauce) (1.63)
- Apples (1.66)
- Brown rice (1.74)
- Broccoli (1.74)
- Bananas (1.77)
- Salmon (1.84)
- Corn (no butter or salt) (1.87)
- Strawberries (1.88)
- Granola bar (1.93)
- Water (1.94)
- Crackers (plain) (2.07)
- Pretzels (2.13)
- Chicken breast (2.16)
- Eggs (2.18)
- Nuts (2.47)
Bottom Line: The least addictive foods were almost all whole, unprocessed foods.
What Makes Junk Food Addictive?
Addictive-like eating behavior involves a lot more than just a lack of willpower. There are biochemical reasons why some people lose control over their consumption.
Processed foods are usually engineered to be “hyperpalatable"—so they taste supergood.
However, the biggest contributor to addictive-like eating behavior is your brain.
The brain has a reward center, which lights up and starts secreting dopamine and other feel-good chemicals when we eat.
This reward center explains why most of us “enjoy" eating. It makes sure that we eat enough food to get all the energy and nutrients that we need.
Bottom Line: Processed foods can cause blood sugar imbalances and cravings. Eating junk food also makes your brain release feel-good chemicals, which can lead to even more cravings.
Take Home Message
Food addiction and addictive-like eating behavior are serious problems that certain foods are more likely to trigger.
This is yet another reason to base your diet mostly on eating whole, single-ingredient foods.
They release an appropriate amount of feel-good chemicals, while ensuring that you're not overeating.
In the end, you should control what foods you eat—not the other way around.
This article was reposted from our media associate Authority Nutrition.
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE
- New Clues Help Monarch Butterfly Conservation Efforts - EcoWatch ›
- Monarch Butterflies Will Be Protected Under Historic Deal - EcoWatch ›
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
California faces another "critically dry year" according to state officials, and a destructive wildfire season looms on its horizon. But in a state that welcomes innovation, water efficacy approaches and drought management could replenish California, increasingly threatened by the climate's new extremes.
- Remarkable Drop in Colorado River Water Use Sign of Climate ... ›
- California Faces a Future of Extreme Weather - EcoWatch ›
Wisdom the mōlī, or Laysan albatross, is the oldest wild bird known to science at the age of at least 70. She is also, as of February 1, a new mother.
<div id="dadb2" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="aa2ad8cb566c9b4b6d2df2693669f6f9"><blockquote class="twitter-tweet twitter-custom-tweet" data-twitter-tweet-id="1357796504740761602" data-partner="rebelmouse"><div style="margin:1em 0">🚨Cute baby alert! Wisdom's chick has hatched!!! 🐣😍 Wisdom, a mōlī (Laysan albatross) and world’s oldest known, ban… https://t.co/Nco050ztBA</div> — USFWS Pacific Region (@USFWS Pacific Region)<a href="https://twitter.com/USFWSPacific/statuses/1357796504740761602">1612558888.0</a></blockquote></div>
By Hui Hu
Winter is supposed to be the best season for wind power – the winds are stronger, and since air density increases as the temperature drops, more force is pushing on the blades. But winter also comes with a problem: freezing weather.
Comparing rime ice and glaze ice shows how each changes the texture of the blade. Gao, Liu and Hu, 2021, CC BY-ND
Ice buildup changes air flow around the turbine blade, which can slow it down. The top photos show ice forming after 10 minutes at different temperatures in the Wind Research Tunnel. The lower measurements show airflow separation as ice accumulates. Icing Research Tunnel of Iowa State University, CC BY-ND
While traditional investment in the ocean technology sector has been tentative, growth in Israeli maritime innovations has been exponential in the last few years, and environmental concern has come to the forefront.
theDOCK aims to innovate the Israeli maritime sector. Pexels<p>The UN hopes that new investments in ocean science and technology will help turn the tide for the oceans. As such, this year kicked off the <a href="https://www.oceandecade.org/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030)</a> to galvanize massive support for the blue economy.</p><p>According to the World Bank, the blue economy is the "sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth, improved livelihoods, and jobs while preserving the health of ocean ecosystem," <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0160412019338255#b0245" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Science Direct</a> reported. It represents this new sector for investments and innovations that work in tandem with the oceans rather than in exploitation of them.</p><p>As recently as Aug. 2020, <a href="https://www.reutersevents.com/sustainability/esg-investors-slow-make-waves-25tn-ocean-economy" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Reuters</a> noted that ESG Investors, those looking to invest in opportunities that have a positive impact in environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues, have been interested in "blue finance" but slow to invest.</p><p>"It is a hugely under-invested economic opportunity that is crucial to the way we have to address living on one planet," Simon Dent, director of blue investments at Mirova Natural Capital, told Reuters.</p><p>Even with slow investment, the blue economy is still expected to expand at twice the rate of the mainstream economy by 2030, Reuters reported. It already contributes $2.5tn a year in economic output, the report noted.</p><p>Current, upward <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/-innovation-blue-economy-2646147405.html" target="_self">shifts in blue economy investments are being driven by innovation</a>, a trend the UN hopes will continue globally for the benefit of all oceans and people.</p><p>In Israel, this push has successfully translated into investment in and innovation of global ports, shipping, logistics and offshore sectors. The "Startup Nation," as Israel is often called, has seen its maritime tech ecosystem grow "significantly" in recent years and expects that growth to "accelerate dramatically," <a href="https://itrade.gov.il/belgium-english/how-israel-is-becoming-a-port-of-call-for-maritime-innovation/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">iTrade</a> reported.</p><p>Driving this wave of momentum has been rising Israeli venture capital hub <a href="https://www.thedockinnovation.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">theDOCK</a>. Founded by Israeli Navy veterans in 2017, theDOCK works with early-stage companies in the maritime space to bring their solutions to market. The hub's pioneering efforts ignited Israel's maritime technology sector, and now, with their new fund, theDOCK is motivating these high-tech solutions to also address ESG criteria.</p><p>"While ESG has always been on theDOCK's agenda, this theme has become even more of a priority," Nir Gartzman, theDOCK's managing partner, told EcoWatch. "80 percent of the startups in our portfolio (for theDOCK's Navigator II fund) will have a primary or secondary contribution to environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria."</p><p>In a company presentation, theDOCK called contribution to the ESG agenda a "hot discussion topic" for traditional players in the space and their boards, many of whom are looking to adopt new technologies with a positive impact on the planet. The focus is on reducing carbon emissions and protecting the environment, the presentation outlines. As such, theDOCK also explicitly screens candidate investments by ESG criteria as well.</p><p>Within the maritime space, environmental innovations could include measures like increased fuel and energy efficiency, better monitoring of potential pollution sources, improved waste and air emissions management and processing of marine debris/trash into reusable materials, theDOCK's presentation noted.</p>
theDOCK team includes (left to right) Michal Hendel-Sufa, Head of Alliances, Noa Schuman, CMO, Nir Gartzman, Co-Founder & Managing Partner, and Hannan Carmeli, Co-Founder & Managing Partner. Dudu Koren<p>theDOCK's own portfolio includes companies like Orca AI, which uses an intelligent collision avoidance system to reduce the probability of oil or fuel spills, AiDock, which eliminates the use of paper by automating the customs clearance process, and DockTech, which uses depth "crowdsourcing" data to map riverbeds in real-time and optimize cargo loading, thereby reducing trips and fuel usage while also avoiding groundings.</p><p>"Oceans are a big opportunity primarily because they are just that – big!" theDOCK's Chief Marketing Officer Noa Schuman summarized. "As such, the magnitude of their criticality to the global ecosystem, the magnitude of pollution risk and the steps needed to overcome those challenges – are all huge."</p><p>There is hope that this wave of interest and investment in environmentally-positive maritime technologies will accelerate the blue economy and ESG investing even further, in Israel and beyond.</p>
- 14 Countries Commit to Ocean Sustainability Initiative - EcoWatch ›
- These 11 Innovations Are Protecting Ocean Life - EcoWatch ›
- How Innovation Is Driving the Blue Economy - EcoWatch ›