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Some Foods Have Drug-Like Effects on the Brain

Some foods elicit reactions in the brain similar to those caused by recreational drugs, according to a new study published in the Archives of General Psychiatry. Researchers examined magnetic resonance images of 48 healthy women who tasted chocolate milkshakes, finding that reaction patterns in the anterior cingulate cortex, medial orbitofrontal cortex, and amygdala were similar in response to foods as to drugs.

Gearhardt AN, Yokum S, Orr PT, Stice E, Corbin WR, Brownell KD. Neural correlates of food addiction. Arch Gen Psychiatry. Published ahead of print April 4, 2011. doi:10.1001/archgenpsychiatry.2011.32.

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