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Is fast food really addictive?

Dr. Mike Dow, PsyD
Addiction Medicine
When you consider that a glass of wine and the amount of fat in a cheeseburger release about the same amount of dopamine in the brain, you can understand why both alcohol and fatty food can be addictive, so yes. In studies, we see the same withdrawal symptoms in rats given fatty food all the time just like rats given cocaine, so yes, it is. Occasional exposure doesn’t cause addiction with fast food. Think of it like tequila. Having a shot once in awhile on a Friday night is fine for non-alcoholics, but if you had tequila with every meal, we have a problem.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.