To the food lovers who can't deny themselves an extra cookie (or 10): The problem may begin in your brain, where, scientists say, chemical surges affect your response to food, much in the way an addict responds to alcohol or drugs.

The possibility of food addiction has existed for some time. A new Yale study gives it a boost. In that research, scientists watched the brain activity of women tantalized, and then rewarded, with a chocolate milkshake. Their neural activity was similar to that of drug addicts, scientists said, as brain imaging showed activity surging in regions that govern cravings and falling off in those centers that curb urges.