How Addictive Is Sugar?

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — There’s all sorts of controversy centered around an article in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

The article suggested that sugar could be as addictive, if not more addictive, than cocaine.

Experts are dismissing the claims as absurd.

In addition, they are saying that it is insulting to people to say that an addiction to sugar is anything like an illegal drug like cocaine.

However, there is a lot of truth behind this.

Sugar has a dramatic impact on our metabolic system. We also have seen addiction-like behaviors in rodents that are fed sugar that are very similar to the addiction-like behaviors seen in those given cocaine.

I think it is more important not to focus on cocaine versus sugar, but to learn from our sugar addiction and to try to use that knowledge to help those who are addicted to cocaine and opioids.

We need to learn as much about our bodies and the inherent addictive drives as we possibly can so that we can focus on treatments for the dramatic drug problem that we are facing.

More from Dr. Brian McDonough

Watch & Listen LIVE