You've probably heard people say they don't want to give up smoking because they'll gain weight. Turns out, that is a real concern for people unless they understand that could happen and plan against it.
A new University of Florida study finds evidence that food activates the same reward sites in the brain that are triggered during the use of drugs or alcohol. That's why they say it's not uncommon for people to give up one habit like cigarettes, but trade it for an addiction to food instead.
"When we looked at people in drug treatment, we found that if they truly stopped taking their drug, alcohol, cocaine, amphetamine, stopped it, and proved it with urine testing, that slowly but surely their appetite comes back, and they gain weight," says Dr. Mark Gold, a UF addictions expert.
Researchers suggest drug and alcohol rehab programs include diet and fitness strategy when they help people give up their addictions because they say that as obesity becomes more common across the country, overeating is already becoming a form of substance abuse.