Few people see much in common between candy and cocaine, aside from their identical first letters. Not so for Matt Will, Assistant Professor of Psychology. Will’s current research equates our cravings for fatty, high calorie foods with serious drug abuse.
Will describes the fundamental focus of his research, the neurochemical roots of food addiction. His methods involve mimicking a natural process to examine the effects of feel-good chemicals, naturally present in the brain, on the dietary habits of rats.
Will describes his research on food addiction, explaining “it’s becoming very commonplace and accepted that food is addictive, and that we need to study it just like we study drugs of abuse.”
Binge eating, it turns out, is parallel to exercise addiction like the “runner’s high." Through his collaboration in exercise physiology, Will began looking at exercise as a treatment plan for both drug and food addictions.