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Refined Carbs Are Like Drugs

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Are you a junk food junkie?  If so, you may not be too different from drug addicts who crave a fix, according to a new study.

Researcher David Ludwig, who co-authored the study out of the New Balance Foundation Obesity Prevention Center in Boston, says refined carbohydrates "provoke food cravings many hours after consumption, at least in susceptible people."

According to Ludwig, who conducted the study with 12 overweight and obese young men, refined carbs such as sugar, corn syrup and white flour cause a quick spike and sudden crash in blood sugar that stimulates hunger.

That means that foods loaded with these carbs, like cookies and cake, also make the idea of eating more pleasurable and rewarding to the brain.

Although the study was small, it does have serious implications, says Christopher Gardner, a nutrition scientist at Stanford University Medical Center who wasn't part of the research.

Gardner believes addictive foods ought to be treated like drugs in that there should be laws to regulate what's consumed.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

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