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Should We Regulate Food Intake Like We Do Drugs?



Should we regulate food intake like we do drugs?  Should you be required to have a prescription from a nutritional professional to get a candy bar?  Most drugs are controlled for the safety of the user.  Some drugs are controlled due to the potential of addiction and abuse.  I am sure most reading this can imagine what I have to say about the ‘safety of the user’, so I will not go there.  However, let’s briefly review some similarities between excessive food intake and addiction.  Drug delivery can be via the mouth, smoked, snorted, or injected.  Food is oral.  Both food and habit-forming drugs have potency of reinforcement. The mechanisms of reward for food are both somatosensory (palatability) and chemical (glucose).  Drugs are simply chemical.  Regulation of intake for food is both peripheral and central in factors.  Drugs are mostly central.  Adaptations to food are physiological whereas drugs are superphysiological.  Both drugs and food usage are learned via habit condition responses.  The role of stress in both drug and food use is evident.  The physiological role of food is necessary for survival whereas drugs are not.  Seeing it stated in a purely scientific manner as such (i.e. no ethics, politics, morals, etc.) please return to the first line and consider the question - just something to think about over Sunday dinner.  

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