Humans, as a species, love high-fat foods with high glycemic loads, that is, how much it raises your blood sugar. There’s a reason for that, as foods like this are calorie-dense, and back when we were driving mammoths off cliffs, the more calories you could get down your throat, the better. So it’s no surprise that the food we tend to most crave and want the most of is none other than pizza.
Yes, the foodstuff we keep covering in tater tots and that men overeat in a misguided attempt to impress women is officially addictive, according to science. Or, at least, it’s the one we most perceive as addictive and are the most likely to overindulge in. A research team at the University of Michigan set out to find which foods would be most likely to be classified as addictive, generally defined as “loss of control over consumption, continued use despite negative consequences, and an inability to cut down despite the desire to do so.” Less than shockingly, 500 survey responses later, pizza came out on top.
Granted, this has the flaws of many studies along these lines: Namely, it relies on college undergraduates, who eat the most pizza of any population in America, and it also relies on self-reporting. Also, we need to sort out what we mean by “addictive,” here, since there’s a pretty big gap between preferring pizza to salad and consuming substances that alter your brain chemistry. It’s a lot easier to stop eating pizza than it is to stop doing heroin, and it’s worth looking with skepticism at “food gurus” who try to equate the two.
Still, it’s a good reminder that as far as your lizard brain is concerned, you still live in a cave and subsist by eating beans and the occasional chunk of animal. So maybe eat your salad before you go for a slice.
(Via IFL Science)