Another study that links food and addiction:
To our knowledge, this is the first study to link indicators of addictive eating behavior with a specific pattern of neural activation. The current study also provides evidence that objectively measured biological differences are related to variations in YFAS scores, thus providing further support for the validity of the scale. Further, if certain foods are addictive, this may partially explain the difficulty people experience in achieving sustainable weight loss. If food cues take on enhanced motivational properties in a manner analogous to drug cues, efforts to change the current food environment may be critical to successful weight loss and prevention efforts. Ubiquitous food advertising and the availability of inexpensive palatable foods may make it extremely difficult to adhere to healthier food choices because the omnipresent food cues trigger the reward system. Finally, if palatable food consumption is accompanied by disinhibition [loss of inhibition], the current emphasis on personal responsibility as the anecdote to increasing obesity rates may have minimal effectiveness.
Update, 4/4: TIME provides more info on this study.
Update, 4/5: And here’s WSJ’s take.