Is sugar as addictive as hard drugs? Scientists say that’s ‘absurd’

sugar addiction

An article suggesting that sugar should be considered an addictive substance, and could even be on a par with abusive drugs such as cocaine, has sparked a furious backlash with experts describing the claims as “absurd”.

In a narrative review published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine the authors write that sugar could act as a gateway to alcohol and other addictive substances, adding that like sugar, like cocaine and opium, is refined from plants to yield pure white crystals – a process they say “significantly adds to its addictive properties.”

“Consuming sugar produces effects similar to that of cocaine, altering mood, possibly through its ability to induce reward and pleasure, leading to the seeking out of sugar,” they write, citing rodent studies which show that sweetness is preferred even over cocaine, and that mice can experience sugar withdrawal.

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“While it is true that a liking for sweet things can be habit-forming it is not addictive like opiates or cocaine,” said [Tom Sanders, emeritus professor of nutrition and dietetics at King’s College London]. “Individuals do not get withdrawal symptoms when they cut sugar intake.”

 

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: Is sugar really as addictive as cocaine? Scientists row over effect on body and brain

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