New Study Proves Sugar Is As Addictive As Drugs
With the New Year comes new resolutions, many of which include eating healthier and losing weight. But after a season filled with cookies, cake, eggnog and a plethora of sugary goodness, kicking the sugar habit may be easier said than done.
Sugar Is Literally Addictive
The New York Times reports that recent studies have found that sugar not only contributes to adverse health effects, but may also be as addictive as drugs. Sugar can affect the brain with habit-forming cravings and rewards the same way drugs such as cocaine and alcohol do. And, just like drugs and alcohol, consistent exposure or overstimulation to sugar may cause addiction.
In one animal study published by the National Institute of Health (NIH), even after exposure to cocaine, rats repeatedly chose sugar as the greater reward. This may be due to the inherent evolutionary need, in both humans and animals, to seek food with a higher calorie content for survival. But today, sugar is much less about sheer survival.
Sugar is added to a majority of the foods we eat. When you take into account that just one can of soda may be more than our ancestors consumed in a given year, you can clearly see how the sugar frenzy has taken over our food industry.
The Substance Abuse Stigma
With the rising cost of healthcare and rampant diseases like obesity and diabetes now widespread, news like this is becoming more prevalent. The destructive wake of sugar addiction is apparent. We see articles in the news, doctors on TV and politicians alike, all lobbying for change.
Yet, the unfortunate truth is that, while addicts are dealing with the same devastating effects of addiction, there are few front-page articles and TV doctors dedicated to helping their causes. Those suffering the effects of sugar addiction are met with compassion and even sympathy, while all too often, those with substance abuse disorders are viewed moral failures (despite science that’s shown otherwise), and that has real effects.
Aside from the physical and mental aspects of the disease, the social impact of addiction may seem insurmountable. Many who need treatment do not even seek help, largely due to the weighty stigma that comes with addiction.
Studies like the recent one published by NIH and articles by the New York Times might not be the end-all for the substance abuse stigma, but at least they’re proving that addiction truly is a brain disorder. These sources only help to further dispel the myths that addiction and substance abuse are simply falls from grace. Instead, they point to real changes in brain chemistry, based on real tests, using real science. Addiction is a real disease.
Finding lasting recovery
Addiction is a treatable illness. Get help today. Call The Watershed any time. We’re open 24/7: 1-800-861-1768.Tags: Sugar addiction, sugar high