U-M study: Quitting junk food leads to withdrawal-like drug addiction

If you've ever tried to cut down on junk food you might have a headache the next day, you might feel a little more irritable, anxious or have a harder time adhering to it.

The timeframe when these symptoms are most intense and when they fade away, model what people have reported with drug abuse and drug withdrawal, says a recent study from a research team at the University of Michigan.

Research says that cutting out junk food can take a toll on your body. Dietitian Grace Derocha from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan came in to talk about the study.

"I have had patients tell me it was easier to quit smoking or drinking alcohol than it was following a healthy diet," she said. "The same brain receptors, dopamine affects our brain, it is a chemical that we have and we get it from some of these really rich foods, that have a lot of salt, fat and sugar - and also from drugs."

Erica Schulte, junk food withdrawal study co-author, said that the withdrawal peaks around days 2 to 5 when you're trying to cut down on the foods.

"So if you can get through that first week, we're showing that's a critical time point for dealing with these negative symptoms," she said. "These highly processed junk foods that again are not found in nature are created by an industry."

Watch the video above for tips on dealing with "kicking the habit" in the interview with Derocha above.