November 21, 2020 at 12:48PM

Studies are finding that sugar, as common as it is, nonetheless meets the criteria for a substance of abuse and may be “addictive” for individuals, especially when consumed in a “bing-like” manner. “Bingeing”, “withdrawal”, and “craving” in response to sugar consumption, results in similar behaviors and brain changes that are characteristic of voluntarily self-administered drugs. These behaviors are then related to the neurochemical changes in the brain that also occur with addictive drugs.

Essentially, sugar addiction exhibits similar characteristics to those shown in drug addiction. Some of these include bingeing, withdrawal symptoms, and cravings for more. Bingeing can result in an escalation of daily sugar intake and large meals. Withdrawal can be demonstrated by increased anxiety and behavioral depression following sugar deprivation.  Cravings cause enhanced responses for sugar following abstinence.

It has also been shown cross-sensitization can occur during sugar abstinence resulting in hyperactivity to other substances and stressors. For instance, an increased reaction can occur in alcohol at lesser amounts than normal. This also can increase consumption of alcohol when forced to abstain from sugar. In this regard, it can be said that “sugar addiction” is a gateway for alcohol abuse.

One other interesting fact to note is that children consume more sugar than adults. On average, children consume 34 teaspoons of sugar per day, in comparison to the 22 teaspoons per day of adults. Based on this information, we are essentially setting our children up for possibly addiction tendencies later in life. Now that is scary.

Did you know any of this about sugar? Comment below how you feel now.👇

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