Being forced to stop eating high-fat and high-sugar foods — because of a self-imposed diet or because you’re a mouse participant in a sadistic scientific study — feels like going through drug withdrawal, say doctors at the University of Montreal. “The chemicals changed by the diet are associated with depression,” Dr. Stephanie Fulton said in the study’s press release. The diet causes “withdrawal symptoms” and “greater sensitivity to stressful situations,” that launches a “vicious cycle of poor eating” which, according to the Cut’s follow-up study, typically involves many squares of baking chocolate, painfully stale tortilla chips, and inventive uses of cream cheese. The mice didn’t have to be obese to be totally traumatized by dieting. Just cutting out fatty foods was enough for them to exhibit “signs of being anxious” like “avoidance of open areas,” which we totally relate to. This must be why eggnog exists.
Photo: Matthieu Spohn/Corbis