Is Food As Addictive As Drugs? | Advanced Surgical & Bariatrics of NJ

Is Food As Addictive As Drugs?

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Food targets the “reward circuit” of the brain, according to a recent New York Times article.

In the recent New York Times article, scientists have found that food and drugs work in the same way. They both have addictive qualities.

Stress causes humans to find something that will release dopamine in the brain. This release makes you happy, which means your brain will want it more and more.

Each person has D2 receptors. The more you have the more naturally stimulated you are. The less you have, the more you need to search out ways—like drugs or food—to enhance your dopamine release.

There is a link between overeating and drug use and diminishing D2 receptors.

Let’s focus on overeating.

Overexposure to fatty and sugary foods decreases D2 receptors, meaning if you eat lots of junk food, your body will want to keep eating junk food in order to be happy.

Due to the release of dopamine, your body sends a signal that says, “This was great, let’s do it again!”

Overeating turns into a vicious cycle.

With your brain’s knowledge of the positive feeling junk food gives you, coupled with the diminishing D2 receptors, your body will have intense cravings when you see or smell those foods.

In addition to cravings, a lack of D2 receptors decreases activity in the prefrontal cortex. Self-control becomes difficult.

While some of the problem is genetic, scientists have found that by changing our environment we can trump genetics.

Scientist found that positive group environments increase D2 receptors and negate addictions.

At Advanced Surgical, we want to be part of the solution. Our support groups are here to help patients make positive changes to their body.

We are committed to your long-term weight-loss success.

Support groups make a big difference in patients. Our groups give patients the opportunity to be in a positive group environment.

During our next Bariatric Support Group—on September 1st from 7-8:30 PM at the RWJ Fitness & Wellness Center Community Room—we will be discussing setbacks.

No one wants to run into setbacks but we all do. It’s better to be prepared for them. The opportunity to talk about negatives in a positive environment is crucial for success!

You aren’t alone and there are others going through the same things. Give yourself the opportunity to replenish your D2 receptors.

Learn more about our support groups at

At Advanced Surgical, we are passionate about helping you become a weight-loss success story!

Our resources were put in place to help our patients every step of their bariatric journey. Reach long-term weight-loss success with us.

Talk to our experts at Advanced Surgical about our bariatric options. Find the right one for you! We offer sleeve gastrectomy, LAP-Band, gastric bypass, and the Obalon Balloon System.

Check out the resources we provide our patients by visiting


Dr Sadek

Dr. Ragui Sadek is a premier surgeon who established a state-of-the-art and one of the safest bariatric surgery programs in the state. Dr. Sadek has fellowship training in both laparoscopic/bariatric surgery and surgical trauma/critical care, allowing him to safely perform complex surgeries on patients who have been turned down by other practices. As a Clinical Assistant Professor of surgery at RWJ Medical School & the Director of bariatric surgery program at RWJ University Hospital, Dr. Sadek offers a cutting-edge range of laparoscopic, robotic, & bariatric surgical procedures with a complication rate substantially below the national average.

Dr. Sadek is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Surgery at Rutgers-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons. Having performed more than three thousand advanced surgical procedures, Dr. Sadek has established a strong patient satisfaction rate and a solid reputation among the surgical community and is renowned as a top physician in his field by International Association of Healthcare Professionals. As a board-certified surgeon, he holds affiliations with the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery and the Society of American Gastro Endoscopic Surgeons. More about Dr. Sadek

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