Fight America’s Junk Food Addiction


Target: Jamie Honohan, neuroscience student at Connecticut College

Goal: Commend research concluding that junk food is as addictive as hard drugs

Researchers at Connecticut College recently concluded that junk foods may be as addictive as cocaine and morphine. With obesity and diseases like diabetes on the rise, this is a useful discovery that can inform future investigations into the paradoxes of the American diet. The study was inspired by Jamie Honohan, a neuroscience student interested in the high occurrence of obesity in low-income neighborhoods. The conclusions drawn by this study give a great deal of insight as to why that is the case, as well as social understandings of obesity.

Using rats as the subject of the experiment, the researchers sought to identify the effects of foods high in sugar and fat content on their brains. By feeding the rats Oreos, they identified which receptors were activated and compared the results with those from similar experiments substituting highly addictive drugs. What they found was shocking: the Oreos activated more neurons in the pleasure center of the brain than drugs of abuse.

The conclusion is that Oreos and other junk food high in fat and sugar are scientifically proven to be extremely addictive. This answers more than the question of why humans struggle to put down a bag of chips. It also points to our social understanding of obesity, comparing individuals who suffer from eating disorders that make them susceptible to obesity to someone who suffers from drug abuse. As low-income neighborhoods often have scarce options for nutritional food, these communities suffer disproportionately, just as they do from actual drug addiction.

Thanks to Jamie Honohan and the researchers performing this study, there is conclusive proof of how addictive junk food can be. Because the American diet consists of high amounts of junk food, this experiment is extremely enlightening, as well as pertinent to future understandings of the rising epidemic of obesity. Commend them for revealing the addictiveness of foods high in sugar and fat content.


Dear Ms. Honohan,

Your recent study about the addictiveness of junk food was remarkable. For many years, Americans have wondered why accounts of obesity and diabetes continue to rise without a clear understanding. Now, thanks to your experiment, there is conclusive proof of the addictive properties of foods high in sugar and fat content. This helps to explain the phenomenon.

The results concluded from feeding rats Oreos are very revealing. Although there have been some inclinations that junk food may have addictive properties, we now have concrete evidence of it being as addictive as substances such as morphine and cocaine. This reshapes our understanding of obesity as a potential drug addiction, rather than a condition of laziness. It also helps us understand why low-income communities suffer from obesity more, due to a lack of nutritional options. Thank you for laying the groundwork for future understandings of the addictiveness of processed junk food in our diet with your study.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Evan-Amos via Wikipedia

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