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Thread: No You're Not Addicted to Sugar

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    Shrieking Violet Sprockey's Avatar
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    No You're Not Addicted to Sugar

    http://weightology.net/sugar/no-your...to-sugar.html/


    For some reason I can't copy/paste any of the text

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    Premier Sponsor Jasmine's Avatar
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    Curb your appetite by avoiding foods that make you hungrier.

    The fact is that "sugar bursts", like the ones you get from eating donuts/cake/pie/candy etc, do cause weight gain because they cause you to eat more food overall.
    "Life is about dreams. Teaching is about making them come true."

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    Real American™ nam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sprockey View Post
    http://weightology.net/sugar/no-your...to-sugar.html/


    For some reason I can't copy/paste any of the text
    Well, here is a slide (?) from that page:

    If you are not willing to fall flat on your face, then the only thing you will have is a pretty face.

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    Full Sponsor Fanny's Avatar
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    I recently gave a presentation on sugar at the Inland Empire Fitness Conference in Bro-kane, Washington. My friend Tim Arndt, who put on the conference, posted one of my summary slides on Facebook…a summary slide that would cause quite a stir.

    No, it wasn’t Alan Aragon that caused the stir. It was this line - "Sugar is not addictive."

    The post got shared around and people started to argue with this particular line, even throwing out studies they felt proved this line wrong.

    Well, if you think you’re addicted to sugar, I’m going to tell you right now…
    …YOU’RE NOT…

    …and let me explain why.


    MAINLINING SUCROSE

    The easiest way to get my point across is to ask you this question: do you find yourself consuming straight bags of sugar uncontrollably like Bret Contreras here? If not, you’re not addicted to sugar.

    Do you find yourself injecting your veins with pure C&H like Eric Helms here? If not, you’re not addicted to sugar.

    BUT…BUT…HOEBEL…

    The point here is that sugar is not addicting in and of itself, certainly not in the way that truly addictive drugs are. If sugar was addicting, you would be hoarding bags of sugar and spooning it straight into your mouth.

    Of course, when I point this out, people are quick to cite research by Bartley Hoebel that supposedly showed that sugar is more addicting than cocaine in rodents. However, Hoebel did not show that sugar is more addicting than cocaine. He only showed that cocaine can increase dopamine levels in the brain in a manner similar to food reward. He also co-authored a paper entited "Evidence for Sugar Addiction", outlining some behavioral similarities between drug self-administration in rodents, and intermittent access to sugar. However, what people fail to realize is that the set of conditions which create addiction-like behaviors in sugar-consuming rodents is not applicable to humans.



    THE CONDITION FOR ADDICTION


    The fact is, addiction-like behaviors, such as bingeing on sugar, only occur when you give rodents intermittent access to sugar. For example, I might deprive rodents of food for 12-16 hours, and then give them free access to sugar for 8-12 hours. Under these specific conditions, using rodents that have been selected to have a preference for sugar (unlike addictive drug studies where rodents completely naïve to a drug are used), I can produce addiction-like behaviors. But when I give rodents ad libitum access to sugar (meaning they can have it whenever they want), I don't get addiction-like behaviors.

    Which do you think is more relevant to humans? Of course the ad libitum condition is more relevant. We can have sugar whenever we want to. There's no giant Brad Dieter in a lab coat keeping the sugar from us. And if the sugar is not in our house, we can run to the store to get some. Our access to sugar is not intermittent.


    NEGATING WITH NAUSEA

    Another key distinction is that, unlike addictive drugs, rodents with prolong access to sugar remain susceptible to devaluation. Basically, if I add something to sugar that makes rodents feel sick, they will stop eating it. This is not true with addictive drugs; rodents will continue to seek out a drug even if I add a nauseating agent to it. You think you're addicted to Oreos? I guarantee you would stop eating them if I added something to them that made you vomit each time you ate them. So, no, you're not addicted to Oreos.



    CRAVING CONTRAST

    Another distinction between drugs and sugar is that the cravings are different. Food cravings are very different from drug cravings; they are different in terms of intensity, frequency, and duration. Food cravings are relatively short-lived compared to drug cravings; cravings can actually subside with fasting, but drug cravings persist and do not reduce in intensity even with prolonged abstinence from the drug. Food cravings are not a reflection of addiction to a particular food. Rather, food cravings are related to a certain attitude towards a food. Let's use chocolate as an example, a food that some people might call "addictive". For some people, chocolate is a highly desirable food...it tastes extremely good. However, we think that chocolate is something that should be eaten with some restraint. When you try to restrain your intake of chocolate, it magnifies the importance of it, and you become preoccupied with it. This is experienced as craving, and people start making comparisons to addiction. But this is not addiction.


    SUGAR...NOT ADDICTING SINCE THE 1940s


    Research published all the way back in 1940 demonstrated that sugar is not addicting. Scientists looked at how sugar concentration in water impacted how much rodents drank. They found that rodents would drink more as sugar concentration increased, but only up to a certain point. Once the sugar concentration got too high, they would drink less. In fact, at very high sugar concentrations, they would drink less than if the water was plain. This is not what would happen if sugar was addicting; rather, they would continue to consume more as the concentration increased.

    So what's going on here? It's simply an issue of palatability. Sugar enhances the palatability of water; it makes it taste better. However, if the sugar concentration starts to get too high, it no longer tastes as good, so you won't drink as much. At a really high sugar concentration, it tastes so bad that you'd rather have plain water. That is not the hallmark of an addictive substance. This leads me to my next point...



    IT'S THE PALATABILITY, STUPID

    Sugar is not addictive. However, it can make our food taste damn good, which encourages us to eat more. For example, if you knock out sugar taste receptors in rodents so that they can't taste sugar, they are resistant to fat gain when you give them sugar water. If you then add fat to the sugar solution to enhance the palatability, the rodents will get fat, even if they can't taste the sugar. Thus, overeating food is highly related to its palatability, not due to any unique addictive property of sugar. In fact, people on a high sugar diet will lose a lot of weight if the diet is very bland so that they don't want to eat much. Also, palatability, not sugar content, is a predictor of how much people will eat.

    The fact is, highly palatable, highly rewarding foods can override our natural appetite signaling mechanisms, and pleasure/reward can share some of the same brain pathways as addiction. Thus, highly palatable, highly rewarding food can have some addictive-like qualities, and can be very tempting and easy to overeat, but it is not truly addictive. Sugar is a component of food that can enhance its palatability and reward value, which increases the likelihood of us overeating a food that contains it. But this doesn't mean sugar is addicting.

    So, no, you are not addicted to sugar.
    ..

  5. #5
    Shrieking Violet Sprockey's Avatar
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    thanks!

    So now what do you all think? Is craving sugar an addiction?

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    Non-praying member Mamapalooza's Avatar
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    I have no idea, but it is an acquired taste that some people definitely prefer and seek out as a dominant flavoring, like salt. I think it's often more a habit than an addiction, and one that can be broken.

    I know sugar does a real number on my digestive system and gives me a carb crash, so I do have to be careful. But I don't jones for it, like a junkie. I jones for starchy carbs (potatoes, bread, etc.) which convert to sugar, so...
    "Wherever in the world much poverty is found, much religion is found also"

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    Unrelentingly Oppositional Andrea's Avatar
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    I agree with this:


    overeating food is highly related to its palatability, not due to any unique addictive property of sugar. In fact, people on a high sugar diet will lose a lot of weight if the diet is very bland so that they don't want to eat much. Also, palatability, not sugar content, is a predictor of how much people will eat.

    The fact is, highly palatable, highly rewarding foods can override our natural appetite signaling mechanisms, and pleasure/reward can share some of the same brain pathways as addiction. Thus, highly palatable, highly rewarding food can have some addictive-like qualities, and can be very tempting and easy to overeat, but it is not truly addictive. Sugar is a component of food that can enhance its palatability and reward value, which increases the likelihood of us overeating a food that contains it. But this doesn't mean sugar is addicting.
    It's about how palatable the food is and that experience can be different for different people. Some have a sweet tooth. For others, salt is the preferred taste. Then there are people with an umami tooth (I'm in this category).


    "When politics becomes a religion, then simple disagreements become apostasies, heresies. And you know what we do with heretics." -- Peggy Noonan


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  9. #9
    Premier Sponsor Jasmine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sprockey View Post
    So now what do you all think? Is craving sugar an addiction?
    Addiction: Being abnormally tolerant to and dependent on something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming; an abnormally strong craving.

    I guess that, if the above describes an individual, then that individual is "addicted" to sugar. It certainly isn't addictive on a the level of, say, nicotine or heroin or opioids or cocaine as far as I'm concerned.

    When I gave up all sweets for lent, there were about 3 or 4 days where I had the craving for something sweet. After that, it pretty much went away except for an occasional surge of desire when in the presence of some really nice confection.
    "Life is about dreams. Teaching is about making them come true."

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