The 15 most addictive foods & how to say no! | 5/3/2017, 10:53 a.m.
So, which foods trigger your brain’s reward center, making you want more and more?

Food addiction is real y’all. Characterized by consuming large amounts of food for a long period, as well as continued use despite adverse consequences, or repeated attempts to quit — somewhat in the same way a drug addict itches for a fix — the disorder affects nearly 20 percent of the U.S. population. Unsurprisingly, the number is higher among persons with obesity. However, it’s important to note that people don’t get addicted to just any foods. In fact, some are far more addicting than others, research says.

Using the Yale Food Addiction Scale (YFAS) as a reference, researchers at the University of Michigan studied addictive-like eating in 518 participants, each of which consumed 35 different foods, both processed and unprocessed. At the end of the trial, participants were asked to rate each food on a scale of 1 (not at all addictive) to 7 (extremely addictive).

Study leaders found that about 7 to 10 percent of participants suffered from full-blown food addiction. Furthermore, 92 percent of participants displayed addictive-like behavior towards certain foods – expressing an inability to put them down, despite their best effort.

So, which foods trigger your brain’s reward center, making you want more and more? Broken down from the most addictive to the least addictive, here are the results:

Top 15 Most Addictive Foods





Ice cream

French fries


Soda (not diet)




Fried chicken

Rolls (plain)

Popcorn (buttered)

Breakfast cereal

Not to our surprise, the eats that appear to be the most problematic are junk foods – you know, those we reach for during our “cheat meal.” Containing ingredients like refined sugar, gluten, sodium, and saturated fats, you can see how food addiction can quickly become a real problem, leading to health issues like BED (binge eating disorder), obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s, arthritis and depression, among others.

Meanwhile, experts say approach your intense craving in the same manner you’d approach any addiction:

Don’t go cold turkey – after all, everyone must eat!

Know your trigger foods and slowly ween yourself off.

Eat only when hungry.

Say NO to fast food!

Exercise regularly.

Take charge of your pantry, keeping in mind that every item you purchase will be consumed by end of the month.

If all else fails, seek help. There is a plethora of options available to you including Food Addicts in Recovery Anonymous, a 12-step program “based on the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous. We make use of AA principles to gain freedom from addictive eating. There are no dues, fees, or weigh-ins at FA meetings. Membership is open to anyone who wants help with food,” the website states.