According to a new study, children with a parent’s history of alcoholism are more likely to exhibit indicators of addiction to highly processed foods.
The findings were reported in the journal ‘Psychology of Addictive Behaviors.’ Highly processed foods, such as ice cream, chocolate, pizza, and fries, contain excessively high levels of refined carbs and fats, which may cause some people to get addicted.
Researchers at the University of Michigan sought to discover if a significant risk factor for addiction—a parent with alcohol issues—predicted an increased likelihood of addiction to highly processed foods.
As many as one in every five persons appear to suffer from this clinically serious addiction to highly processed foods, which is characterised by loss of control over consumption, strong cravings, and an unwillingness to cut back despite unfavourable effects.
“People with a family history of addiction may be more likely to develop a problematic relationship with highly processed foods, which is especially difficult in a food environment where these foods are cheap, easily accessible, and heavily marketed,” said Lindzey Hoover, a U-M psychology graduate student and the study’s lead author.
However, addictive responses did not stop with food, as those with food addiction were also more likely to have personal issues with alcohol, cannabis, cigarettes, and vaping, according to the study.
Diets heavy in processed foods and excessive consumption of addictive drugs are the primary causes of avoidable death in the modern world. This study implies that treatments are required to reduce both addictive eating and drug use at the same time.
“Public health policies that have decreased the damage of other addictive drugs, such as banning marketing to children,” Hoover said, “may be relevant to examine to lessen the detrimental impact of highly processed foods.”