Fluffy sponges containing butter and the sugar in the icing coated over cupcakes could turn out as addictive as drugs, suggests a study.
A number of studies have linked sugary and fatty foods to brain changes more usually seen with hard drugs and according to scientists the evidence is "overwhelming", with 28 pieces of research on food addiction published this year alone.
Advertisement"We are finding tremendous overlap between drugs in the brain and food in the brain," the Daily Mail quoted Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse in the U.S as saying.
The first hint that fatty and sugary foods could be addictive came from American studies on rats showing that those fed on syrup developed brain and behaviour changes similar to rodents hooked on morphine.
Significantly, the animals released the pleasure-seeking brain chemical dopamine after every sugar hit, which is a hallmark of drug addiction.
Allowing rats to binge on bacon, sausage, icing and chocolate also caused "very, very striking" changes to the brain, similar to those seen with cocaine and heroin, and even electric shocks did not deter them from getting their junk food "fix".