As you reach for your tenth slice of cheese or perhaps your fifteenth cracker covered in gooey goodness, just know you’re not alone.

According to a new study by the University of Michigan: cheese contains the same addictive chemicals found in drugs. Using the Yale Food Addiction Scale, a tool designed to measure craving levels, cheese ranked highly because it includes casein.
Similar to drug addiction, the brain’s opioid receptors are triggered by this chemical.

In the research, 500 participants were surveyed on the foods they crave the most.
While pizza came out on top, meals high in cheese all ranked highly.
Researchers found that it wasn’t just cheese that had the addictive chemical but dairy itself. The amount found in milk was minimal but considering the amount of milk needed for cheese, it all adds up.

“This is a first step towards identifying specific foods, and properties of foods, which can trigger this addictive response.

This could help change the way we approach obesity treatment. It may not be a simple matter of ‘cutting back’ on certain foods, but rather, adopting methods used to curtail smoking, drinking, and drug use,” says co-author of the study.