MADISON (WKOW) -- We all know the feeling: the food tastes so good, you just can't stop.
Research shows your brain could be wired to want more.
Dr. Brian Baldo, an Associate Professor of Psychiatry, and his team of researchers study just that.
Baldo said, "Why is it that I want that chocolate cake.. when my body doesn't really need it?"
Others have studied the role of brain opiates, involved with feeding. Researchers found bingeing on carbohydrates, and the tasty reward you feel from that triggers similar systems in the brain as some opiate drugs. But this study, published earlier this year, shows opiate-sensitive "hot spots" in the brain with higher-level reasoning, that can trigger feeding responses.
Baldo said, "There's a very intricate overlap in the brain structure involved in natural rewards like food and the brain structure involved in drug rewards."
They think this knowledge could help others understand emotional or stress-related eating.
So how do you combat this urge? And is food addiction real?
We asked a registered dietitian what she thought.
Marianne Merrick, a registered dietitian with St. Mary's Hospital, said, "I believe there is food addiction, and I think it's more psychologically based."
And she says it's not a problem one can combat alone.
Merrick said, "If somebody's struggling to lose weight, and can't do it, they need help. More than going to the diet books."
You'll need a support system, and to attempt to distance yourself from what Americans seem to do best.
Merrick added, "Our culture supports eating unhealthy, and you're combating that."
A problem that could potentially be better understood, by research right here at home.
Doctor Baldo says he would not classify his research as showing food addiction exists. But he says it could lead to certain drugs that could curb cravings or drug relapses.
Of course, food addiction is different than cravings.
If you do feel like you're eating too much in one sitting, Merrick says the best thing to do is create a diversion, go for a walk, chop some veggies, or just keep moving.
If you feel like you have a more serious addiction, we've put links to a few resources available in the area to the left of this story.
MADISON (WKOW) -- Research at UW-Madison shows binging on carbohydrates stimulates the same brain receptors that respond to opiate drugs.
Researchers say this shows eating disorders share some biological pathways with drugs of abuse.
Teresa Mackin is following up on this, and will have a full report tonight on 27 News at 5, 6 and 6:30.
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