There are quite a few interesting passages including this one:
They've also found that, at least in animals, sweet or fatty foods can act a lot like a drug in the brain, he says. And there's growing evidence that eating too much of these foods can cause long-term changes in the brain circuits that control eating behavior.
The food-drug link comes from the fact that both animal and human brains include special pathways that make us feel good when we eat, and really good when we eat sweet or fatty foods with lots of calories, DiLeone says.
"Drug addiction is really hijacking some of these pathways that evolved to promote food intake for survival reasons," he says
That doesn't necessarily mean food is addictive the way cocaine is, DiLeone says, but he says there is growing evidence that eating a lot of certain foods early in life can alter your brain the way drugs do.
And this one:
Reyes was part of a team that gave mice a high-fat diet from the time they were weaned until they reached 20 weeks, so they gained significant amounts of weight and became obese. Then the researchers looked at the brain's pleasure centers — areas known to change in drug addiction.
"What we found is that in animals that were obese, there were really dramatic changes in these areas of the brain that participate in telling us how rewarding food is," Reyes says. The changes made these areas less responsive to fatty foods, so an obese mouse would have to eat more fat than a typical mouse to get the same amount of pleasure, she says.
And some of the changes didn't go away, even when the mice returned to a normal diet.
"So it is similar to what happens in cases of chronic drug abuse," Reyes says. "The reward circuitry changes in a similar way, and that promotes the seeking of that drug, or in our case, in seeking palatable food."
That could help explain why obese children tend to remain that way as adults, she says.