(nb. I am not the Devil's Kitchen)
Christ, The Daily Telegraph usually waits until the end of the week to publish this kind of trash...
Junk food 'as addictive as heroin and smoking'
Here we go then...
Scientists at the Scripps Research Institute in Florida found laboratory rats became addicted on a bad diet just like people who became dependent on cocaine and heroin.
Did they really? Well, here's some news: rats are not people, so fuck off.
While the findings cannot be directly transferred to human obesity, it found that overconsumption of high-calorie food triggered addiction-like responses in the brain.
But the study, published online in Nature Neuroscience, suggests for the first time that our brains may react in the same way to junk food as it does to drugs.
For the first time? I don't think so, sunshine. That's dopamine you're talking about there. It's a neurotransmitter that rewards pleasure and we've known that it gets released naturally by eating food for many, many years.
Dr Paul Kenny, a neuroscientist who led the research, said the study, which took nearly three years to complete [the experiment lasted 40 days - TFS], confirmed the "addictive" properties of junk food.
"Obesity may be a form of compulsive eating,” he said.
What the hell does that mean? Obesity is a physical characteristic. Compulsive eating is an activity. Compulsive eating may lead to obesity. It's not a form of obesity.
"The new study explains what happens in the brain of these animals when they have easy access to high-calorie, high-fat food.”
You are, are you not, the same Dr Paul Kenny who was banging on about this last year in the, er, Daily Telegraph? Alright then, you publicity hungry rat-fucker, let's hear about your little experiment.
In the study, the research team divided the animals into three groups.
One got normal amounts of healthy food to eat, another was given restricted amounts of junk food and the third had unlimited amounts of cheesecake, fatty meat products, cheap sponge cakes and chocolate snacks.There were no adverse effects on the first two groups. But the rats which ate as much junk food as they wanted quickly became very fat and started bingeing.
You don't say. You gave unlimited tasty, high calorie food to a bunch of stupid rodents and they ate it and got fat. Thank God for scientists.
Since you can't believe a word ill-informed Telegraph hacks say about scientific research, it's necessary to read the actual study. In it, you'll find that the first group was given nothing but standard, unappetizing laboratory chow pellets to eat. The other two groups were given what the researchers tellingly describe as "palatable food"—or the "cafeteria diet"—which consisted of "bacon, sausage, cheesecake, pound cake, frosting and chocolate." One of these groups had 1 hour's access a day, the other group had 18 to 23 hours access.
When researchers electronically stimulated the part of the brain that feels pleasure, they found the rats on unlimited junk food needed even more stimulation to register the same level of pleasure as the animals on healthier diets.
Yeah, after 40 days of feeding them sugary puddings that have no place being in a rodent's diet and would never be in a human's diet at anything approaching that level. But they also found (not mentioned in any news reports)...
Consistent with previous reports, there was a tendency for consumption of the cafeteria diet to decrease over time in the extended-access rats. This may reflect the development of tolerance to the palatability of the food items provided as part of the cafeteria diet over time.
In other words, the rats got bored of eating nothing but bacon and high-fat desserts, got less pleasure from doing so and—despite unrestricted access—ate less of them. Hardly "as addictive as heroin" that, is it?
"They always went for the worst types of food and as a result, they took in twice the calories as the control rats,” said Dr Kenny.
The worst food being the "palatable" food, yes? You'd be eating the laboratory chow, I presume, Dr Kenny?
"When we removed the junk food and tried to put them on a nutritious diet – what we called the 'salad bar option' [laboratory chow - TFS] – they simply refused to eat.""The change in their diet preference was so great that they basically starved themselves for two weeks after they were cut off from junk food."
This statement is—there is no other word for it—a complete lie, unless the good doctor chose not to mention it in his study, where it merely states that...
After 40 days, rats were no longer permitted access to the palatable diet but continued to have ad libitum access to standard laboratory chow... There was a marked decrease in caloric intake and a gradual decrease in body weight in extended access rats.
Nothing there about the rats "simply refusing to eat" or "basically starving themselves". If the scientist can't describe what happened in his own experiment, what chance has some twat from The Telegraph got?
The scientists fed the rats a diet modelled after the type that contributes to human obesity: easy to obtain high-calorie, high-fat foods. Soon after the experiments began, the animals began to bloat.
Let's say it one more time. Rats are not human beings. Rats might be intelligent by the pitiful standard of other rodents but, let's face it, they're still incredibly fucking stupid. If you give unlimited cocaine to a rat it will be dead within days because it will forget to eat, drink or sleep. Even the worst coke-heads don't do that, because they belong to the most intelligent and self-aware species on earth.
Unlike rats, we know that over-eating will make us fat and unattractive. We know that eating nothing but chocolate is unhealthy. Unlike rats, we have to pay for our food. Unlike rats, our dietary choices are more sophisticated than a toss up between chocolate cake and chow pellets.
Above all, we have free will. The trouble with neuroscientists is that they spend so much time dicking around with mice and rats that they start to think that human behaviour is as easy to predict and manipulate as that of pea-brained vermin. The same mentality has infected the medical establishment, who view the population as rats and themselves as scientists in control of a giant experiment. Restrict access here, provide incentives there and, bingo, behaviour can be manipulated in whichever way they wish. Idiots.
All this experiment shows, for the umpteenth time, is that pleasurable activities produce dopamine. Or as Leg-Iron puts it:
The results prove only that rats have a sense of taste and smell, and don't like the crap they are routinely fed. It's junk science.
The frequent references to cocaine and heroin are there purely to allow excitable journalists to declare that
tasty palatable 'junk' food is as addictive as hard drugs which—and this fact that has not gone unnoticed by the obesity crusaders—are illegal. It is the same line used by cranks like John Banzhaf and David Kessler (both former anti-smoking campaigners, incidentally. Enjoying that slippery-slope yet, nonsmokers?)
Similarly, references to "easy access to high-calorie, high-fat food" are there only to encourage scum-bag politicians to clamp down on what and when we can eat, as if giving rats endless high calorie snacks for 40 days and 40 nights is comparable to having a McDonalds down the road.
From the study itself:
Ease of access and consequent overeating of cafeteria-style diets in humans is considered an important environmental contributor to the current obesity epidemic in Western societies.
Geddit? Sentences like that don't appear in scientific journals by accident. And how well the media have responded, with much more to come later in the day, I'm sure...
Bad diet is like a drug habit say scientists (The Mirror)
Revealed: Junk food is just as addictive as drugs (Daily Record)
Junk Food Is As Addictive As Heroin (preventdisease.com)
The stage is set. By now, you should know what to expect.