Bingeing On Junk Food When You're Drunk Is Actually Scientifically A Thing

If you're always likely to head towards a burger when you're boozed up -- listen up.

Research now suggests that the impulse to binge drink and eat has a neurological basis -- and while that could possibly mean there's a REASON you go from drunk to junk so freely, it could also actually explain other bingeing behaviours like gambling.

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Caitlin Coker, a graduate student at Penn State School of Medicine, did some very preliminary research into this using mice, and her results clearly showed that bingeing alcohol and fatty foods are part of a “vicious cycle” of brain activity that uses the same underlying neurocircuitry, says Inverse.

You see, the mice in the tests that binged on fatty food, also binged on alcohol too.

For their experiment, Croker and her team exposed the  group of mice to both high-fat diets and alcohol over a period of eight weeks, with some of them given high fat food just once a week so they would binge on it. Which they did.

The rest were given different diet, but all the mice were also given access to alcohol -- the researchers watching to see what they did when it came to drinking it.

At the end of the eight weeks the team found that the mice who binged on food also tended to binge drink when presented with alcohol. And as well, the binge drinking mice drank significantly more alcohol than mice on other diets.

What does this mean? Well, bingeing may change the way the brain processes food and drink intake, which would then maybe lead to alcohol abuse, which may also lead to food bingeing, and so on.

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The researchers also believe, thanks to these tests, that the same neurological effects that drive someone to binge on fatty food may apply to other compulsive binge behaviors, like gambling. 

“In this case, binge eating, but many similar behavioural issues -- say gambling issues -- could also be a symptom of underlying binge behaviours that may be risk factors for alcohol use disorders,” said the Associate Professor who held the study, Yuval Silberman, Ph.D.

Stay tuned.

Feature image: Getty