Sugar addiction

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Sugar addiction[dubious ] is the term for the relationship between sugar and the various aspects of food addiction including: "bingeing, withdrawal, craving and cross-sensitization". Some scientists assert that consumption of sweets or sugar could[weasel words] have a heroin addiction like effect.[1]


In 2002 research at Princeton began showing the neurochemical effects of sugar, noting that sugar might[weasel words] serve as a gateway drug for other drugs.[1][non-primary source needed]

In 2003, a report commissioned by two U.N. agencies at the World Health Organization and the Food and Agriculture Organization was compiled by a panel of 30 international experts. It recommended that sugar not account for more than 10% of a person's diet.[2]

Finally, a 2008 study noted that sugar affects opioids and dopamine in the brain, and thus might[weasel words] be expected to have addictive potential. It referenced "binging, withdrawal, craving and cross-sensitization", and gave each of them operational definitions in order to demonstrate behaviorally that sugar binging is a reinforcer. These behaviors were said to be related to neurochemical changes in the brain that also occur during addiction to drugs. Neural adaptations included changes in dopamine and opioid receptor binding, enkephalin mRNA expression and dopamine and acetylcholine release in the nucleus accumbens.[1][3][4][non-primary medical source needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Avena, Nicole M.; Rada, Pedro and Hoebel, Bartley G. "Evidence for sugar addiction: behavioral and neurochemical effects of intermittent, excessive sugar intake". Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, 2008;32(1):20-39. Epub 18 May, 2007.
  2. ^ World Health Organization, 3 March 2003, WHO/FAO release independent Expert Report on diet and chronic disease. Accessed 2012-08-02.
  3. ^ MacPherson, Kitta “Sugar can be addictive, Princeton scientist says”. News at Princeton, Current Stories, 10 December 2008.
  4. ^ Cox, David “Students: just say no to sugar”. Theguardian - News - Education- Students - Blogging students, 18 March 2013.