You Can Actually Get Addicted To Chocolate

By Jeff Kelly on Sunday, December 15, 2013
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“Well, folks, it looks like we’re up chocolate creek without a popsicle stick.” —Gingerbread Man, Shrek 2 (2004)

In A Nutshell

Addiction is a serious issue for many people, with alcoholism and drug abuse being the most noteworthy examples. But real, actual, scientific studies have been done and conclude that there’s another indulgence that leads to all of the same behaviors exhibited by people with addiction: chocolate.

The Whole Bushel

Anyone who has ever dealt with addiction either firsthand or by witnessing a friend or family member succumb knows how serious an issue it is. Alcoholism and drug abuse ruin families and lives, leading to a downward spiral that can often result in death. What you probably didn’t realize is that, according to studies, one of the things that you can get addicted to is chocolate.

Yes, it turns out that when you’re craving a Hershey’s bar you may in fact be experiencing actual, legitimate addiction. Actual scientists, using actual science, have put this to the test and (while they aren’t quite ready to say that chocolate is on par with a narcotic) found that people in these studies exhibited all of the same reactions as an addict.

Those include things like losing self control, cravings, and overindulgence regardless of the consequences. One such experiment was conducted at Yale, with participants ranging from self-described “chocoholics” to people who tend to eat well and take care of themselves. The researchers actually studied the brain scans of these individuals, with those “chocoholics” showing a drastic increase in brain activity whenever they saw or smelled a chocolate milkshake.

The increased brain activity continued until they were allowed to drink the milkshakes, and as soon as they began to consume the chocolate the brain activity returned to normal. This was viewed as clear addiction-like behavior among the participants, with their brains more or less telling them they needed the chocolate.

Another study conducted at Drexel University put participants under similar conditions, and those researchers determined that the people being studied showed the exact same reactions and behaviors as the users of some hard drugs, providing further evidence that chocolate addiction is most likely a very real thing.

Just keep this in mind the next time you decide to indulge in a Hershey’s Kiss, because that may just be the gateway treat that leads to a giant slice of “Death by Chocolate” cake.

Show Me The Proof

Harvard Medical School: Can You Become Addicted To Chocolate?