I’m Addicted to Sugar, and You Probably Are Too


Photo from Pixabay

Nicolette Noce, Staff Reporter

Sugar. It’s in almost everything we eat. We love it, and eating it brings us joy. Have you ever been mad eating a donut? What about licking an ice cream cone? I doubt it. 

According to Sugar Science, a website and science source dedicated to the topic of sugar health, run by a team of health scientists from the University of California, San Francisco, the average American consumes 17 teaspoons of added sugar every day. That equals 57 pounds of sugar every year. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends a daily consumption of about six teaspoons a day for women and nine a day for men. For children, only about three to six teaspoons is recommended per day. 

 Consuming one 12-oz soda contains 11 teaspoons of sugar. This is the same amount as if you were to eat one orange, 16 strawberries and two plums, according to Sugar Science. 

A sugar study conducted by James DiNicolantonio, James H O’Keefe and William L Wilson tested lab rats and how they respond to the consumption of sugar and drugs. The rats chose to consume Oreo cookies before the drugs. The study shows that there is a direct link between sugar and dopamine. When we eat sugar, our brains produce high levels of dopamine, the same thing that happens when we have sex. Similarly, when someone consumes drugs like heroin or cocaine, the brain produces the same results. Given the amount of sugar we consume, it’s no wonder most of us find ourselves craving it on a regular basis.

 Sugar is an addictive substance and when we experience cravings, we are actually experiencing a sort of withdrawal. Now, obviously, being addicted to sugar is not as harmful as being addicted to drugs. Your life is probably not going to spiral out of control because you eat a little sugar, but there are life threatening diseases associated with high amounts of sugar intake, like Type 2 Diabetes.. You’re likely not going to be selling sentimental belongings in order to buy a pint of ice cream, but sugar addiction and sugar consumption is something to be aware of. And

I am not a full blown sugar addict, but I do experience strong cravings and most of the time I give into these cravings. I really try not to deprive myself of foods when it seems like my body is telling me I want it, but I do limit my intake. If I am dying for some ice cream, I will have two or three bites instead of inhaling it right out of the tub. 

 Moderation is important. Sugar is a part of our daily life, it is commonly found in foods like yogurt, ketchup, spaghetti sauce, sports drinks, cereal, salad dressing and bread. It is not realistic for most of us to cut it out completely. However, I think a lot of people are blind to the truth that sugar is something we should monitor. It is something that our government should take notice of too. You can’t go into a grocery store and grab heroin off the shelf. Nor can people buy tobacco and alcohol without being of a certain age. But we sell slushies, candy bars, milkshakes and ice cream cones to 10-year-old kids. Sugar increases the risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, depression and anxiety. 

I’m not the sugar police. I’m just an individual who has actively noticed my own sugar addiction and wants to encourage others to do the same so we can collectively live healthier and longer lives.