Are you addicted to sugar?
Fri, 18 May 2012 15:50:00 GMT —
ost of us like having the chance to satisfy a sweet tooth. But could overdoing it lead to a sugar addiction?
It's a question we asked the experts in part one of a special report on strange addictions.
It that answer depends on which expert you ask.
"There are actually some studies that show that you actually crave what you do eat. So sometimes changing your behavior needs to happen first before you start actually desiring the foods that you're eating," said Micah Wing, Baptist Saint Anthony's Clinical Nutrition Manager.
"There's not enough information for me to believe there is an addiction to sugar. I'm not saying it's not possible," said Dr. James Rush, Texas Tech Health Science Center Psychologist.
But addiction or not, Americans are eating lots and lots of it. In fact, we are consuming 22 teaspoons, or half a cup of sugar a day.
That's 355 calories every day. You take in most of those by drinking cokes or energy drinks, a coke has 42 grams of sugar in it.
Wing says that can add 20 to 30 pounds to a body in a year.
"The recommendations are to consume about 100 to 150 of your extra calories from sugar and no more than that," said Wing.
Of course, with added weight come health risks like obesity and diabetes, and also a higher risk of developing cancer.
While Dr. Rush says, there may not be a scientific proof that sugar is actually an addiction, it causes a chemical reaction in the brain.
"Sugar is sweet and gives you know, releases things in our brain that make us like sugar".
What are those? Studies show that sugar affects a certain chemical mix in our brains that give us satisfaction when we consume it, similar to an analgesic drug.
So the questions for you, are you addicted, or do you just like sugar a lot?
As scientists study sugar and addiction, Friday night, we turn our attention to Facebook and the internet. Can you be addicted to those?
We explore that answer.