ANN ARBOR, Mich. (Michigan News Source) – A study by the University of Michigan and Virginia Tech is finding foods with refined carbohydrates and added fats can be considered addictive substances.

Researchers say highly processed foods meet the same criteria the U.S. Surgeon General used in 1988 to classify tobacco as an addictive substance.

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The study found the foods could trigger intense urges and cravings, trigger compulsive use where individuals are unable to cut down or quit, are highly reinforcing, and can change the way we feel and cause changes in the brain.

Poor diets loaded with highly processed foods are now responsible for as many preventable deaths as cigarettes, said the researchers.

To read the full study click here.