Ice Cream addictive as illegal drugs
A new study reveals that Ice Cream is addictive as illegal drugs REUTERS/Max Rossi

Ice cream can leave people addicted just like getting hooked to drugs, a new study has found.

Researchers found that continuous eating of high-fat or high-sugar foods could result in the brain asking for more, the same way a person uses drugs like cocaine, reports the Daily Telegraph.

"Repeated, overconsumption of high-fat or high-sugar foods may alter how the brain responds to those foods in a way that perpetuates further intake," the Telegraph quoted Dr Kyle Burger, from the Oregon Research Institute, in the United States as saying.

"This down-regulation pattern is seen with frequent drug use, where the more an individual uses the drug, the less reward they receive from using it," he added.

For the study, more than 150 teenagers between the age group of 14 and 16 were asked to drink chocolate milkshakes and were interviewed about their eating habits.

The teenagers were later shown pictures of milkshakes and their brains were scanned with a Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging Machine (FMRI), after which they were given a real milkshake.

The researchers found that all the teenagers wanted to drink the milkshake, but those who had consumed more ice cream in the last few weeks enjoyed it less.

Dr Burger explained to the Telegraph that the participant reactions were similar to drug addicts who get the same feeling that despite craving for the item, they would not enjoy it more as the pleasure to be sent to the brain is blunted.

He added that they try to enjoy the same pleasures as they do when eating ice creams, which makes them eat more of it and leaves them addicted. As a result, they gain more weight.