By Nicole Goodman
Recently there was a study done by the University of Connecticut College. They did a test on lab rats to see how addictive Oreos and other sweets could be. They found that the Oreos activated significantly more neurons than cocaine or morphine. So what does this mean to us? We constantly worry about kids getting addicted or experimenting with hard drugs, but some of the most dangerous drugs are in our kitchen. So how do we stop it? From personal experience, I can say that banning certain types of food from a household can have the opposite effect. People always want what they can’t have. When sweets weren’t an option in my household, I would run to my friend’s houses or the market and binge eat on what I couldn’t have at home. So what’s the right answer? I think that having a balance is key, just like everything else in life. Being able to have these foods at home, but making sure they aren’t being taken advantage of. We already know that binge eating into a “food coma” activates the brain just as drugs and alcohol do. It is easy for kids and adults alike to become addicted to these types of food and not even notice it. Just like drugs, the real problem begins when you use this “substance” to cope with your emotions. It’s the same concept we use in our prevention program. We do think it is necessary for young adults to not drink at all but to find a healthy balance and not use any substance to deal with life. Our job now is to spread the message that when used obsessively, food can be just as dangerous. Food and drugs are not the problem; they are the solution and a quick fix to life’s difficulties. The problem is learning how to deal with discomfort.
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