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America’s Real Drug Problem: Potato Chips and Donuts Match Cocaine in Addictiveness



Clear Facts:

  • Fatty and sugar-rich foods, like potato chips and donuts, rival the addictiveness of nicotine and cocaine.
  • An alarming 14% of adults and 12% of children are addicted to ultra-processed foods.
  • Ultra-processed foods trigger dopamine levels akin to addictive substances.

Americans might be hooked on more than just their daily cup of joe. According to recent shocking research, the very foods that grace our pantries and fridges are as addictive as some illicit drugs.

Published in the British Medical Journal, the study’s grim findings underscore that roughly 14% of adults and 12% of children are in the grips of ultra-processed foods. These aren’t just any foods. We’re talking about those saturated with refined sugars, artificial flavors, and unhealthy fats – items such as ice cream, potato chips, sugary cereals, and the like.

So, what’s the scientific reasoning? These edibles closely mirror the dopamine spike in our brains triggered by hard-hitting substances like nicotine and even alcohol. Not just comparable, but they also surpass the addictiveness of drugs like heroin.

Florida’s addiction specialist Dr. Daniel Bober provided a stark perspective: “What really makes this dangerous is this addiction we have to ultra-processed foods. And these are foods that contain chemicals, emulsifiers, artificial colors. They also contain refined sugars and just the right amount of salt, sugar, and fat to be highly reinforced, which can lead some people to engage in compulsive eating.”

Considering the obesity epidemic, it’s no wonder experts are drawing parallels between the hazardous nature of these foods and illegal narcotics such as cocaine.

Bober drives the point home: “We want a hit, and we want it fast. Whether it’s from cocaine, food, shopping, it all has one thing in common. And that is using compulsive behavior to deal with uncomfortable feelings like loneliness, depression, isolation. It’s something we need to look at because it’s part of our culture.”

The authors of the study echoed this sentiment, noting: “Ultra-processed foods high in refined carbohydrates and added fats are highly rewarding, appealing, and consumed compulsively and may be addictive. Understanding of these foods as addictive could lead to novel approaches in the realm of social justice, clinical care, and policy approaches.”

We want to know what you think! Share your thoughts in the comments below.





    October 20, 2023 at 4:25 pm

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  2. Jeremy

    October 23, 2023 at 8:43 pm

    Uh oh! Does this mean that the government is going to sue Wall-Mart for selling addictive foods at bargain prices?

    The FDA allows many dangerous substances to be used in the manufacture of foods in this country. Some of which have been banned in Europe because of the harmful effects that they can have on the people who eat them.

    • Rodnut

      November 20, 2023 at 1:30 am


  3. San Jose Mike

    October 24, 2023 at 11:50 am

    While obesity is still a serious problem in the U.S.,, mostly it is related to lack of exercise. Comparing cocaine with potato chips is just click bait. It is ridiculous.

    Sanjosemike (no longer in CA)
    Retired surgeon

  4. Joanne Martin

    November 16, 2023 at 7:21 am

    Are you nuts? How about you stop being idiots and stop putting fatty foods & hard drugs in the same sentence. Drugs will kill you definitely – unless you pig out on food you will be overweight & have every chance to do better through dieting. With fentanyl 2 pop & you’re dead!!

  5. Rodnut

    November 20, 2023 at 1:29 am

    No Americas real drug problem is BIG PHARMA. They are the biggest drug pushers on the planet. They push every kind of chemical filled pill they can create. And then tell you to ask your doctor if it is right for you. And of course it will be even though they have no real idea of all the long term effects on any human. People are just ingesting billions of pills that are doing long term damage to millions of people. I refuse to take anything BIG PHARMA pushes on us like, the biggest, cholesterol lowering drugs. They have now come out saying they contribute to Dementia other life killing decisis. So I am taking nothing and doing fine even after Bypass surgery six years ago, no drugs they have tried to push me to take.

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