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Rats Fed Junk Food Eat Compulsively

Bingeing on high-calorie foods may be as addictive as cocaine or nicotine, and could cause compulsive eating and obesity.

A study involving rats found that overconsumption of high-calorie food can trigger addiction-like responses in the brain, and that high-calorie food can turn rats into compulsive eaters in a laboratory setting.

The scientists also found decreased levels of a specific dopamine receptor -- a brain chemical that allows a feeling of reward -- in overweight rats, a condition that has also been reported in humans addicted to drugs.

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