Highly processed foods similar to tobacco for addiction

Highly processed foods meet the same criteria as tobacco for addiction and labeling them as such might benefit public health, according to a new US study that also proposes a set of criteria to assess the addictive potential of some foods..

The authors of the study reported that “the ability of highly processed foods (HPFs) to rapidly deliver high doses of refined carbohydrates and/or fat appear key to their addictive potential. Thus, we conclude that HPFs can be considered addictive substances based on scientifically established criteria.”

They assert that the contribution to preventable deaths by a diet dominated by highly processed foods is comparable to that of tobacco products, and as such the authors seek clinical recognition and a more formalized protocol to manage food addiction.

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