Latest U.S. research has found out that quitting junk food is able to trigger similar withdrawal symptoms during the first week to the one that people experience when quitting drugs.
The study was carried out by researchers at the University of Michigan, and its results have been published in the journal Appetite.
It was set out to investigate what kind of withdrawal symptoms are experienced by people who stop eating junk food and highly processed foods such as pizza, French fries, and pastries.
The researchers have recruited 231 adults with ages between 19 and 68, and they have asked them to report everything that happens after cutting down on the number of processed foods in their diet.
Symptoms similar to drug withdrawal
The findings of the study showed that the withdrawal symptoms that have been experienced by the participants which included irritability, sadness, cravings, tiredness were the most intense during the first week after they quit eating junk food.
After the first 2 to 5 days since cutting off processed food, these side effects tapered off and this is also what happens in the case of drug withdrawal symptoms.
This latest study did not analyze only the methods that the participants used to cut down on junk food, and future studies will definitely have to look into this aspect as well.
People might have gone cold turkey altogether, or they could gradually reduce the amount of highly processed foods that they consume.
The most important conclusion that the team has reached however is the fact that after they cut down on highly processed foods, people have been able to make the necessary dietary changes to become healthier.
The symptoms described above are probably one of the causes for which people go back to their unhealthy eating habits if they don’t have a strong will to remain “clean.”
Rada attended the courses in the Faculty of Letters, Romanian-English section, and finished the Faculty of Theatre and Television, Theatrical Journalism section, both within the framework of Babeş-Bolyai University of Cluj-Napoca. Up till now, she reviewed books, movies, and theatre-plays, enjoying subjects from the cultural niche. Her experience in writing also intersects the IT niche, given the fact that she worked as a content editor for firms that produce software for mobile devices. She is collaborating with online advertising agencies, writing articles for several websites and blogs.