The PET brain scan below shows a person reacts in the same way to sugar as they do to cocaine which causes addiction. Wow, surprising similarities, right?
The chemical dopamine is produced in the part of the brain that’s associated with “reward”. . . Dopamine in this scan is indicated by the “red areas” seen more in the “normal” brain. Dopamine levels spikes when a person experiences a reward, like when eating something yummy.
Addicts only get a dopamine spike when they anticipate a reward as opposed to experiencing the actual reward itself. When an addict gets an reward the effect isn’t felt, because the brain’s been flooded with dopamine simply by “thinking” about the reward.
Let’s look at the dopamine receptors in each brain between addict and non-addicts. The normal images in the bottom row come from non-addicts, and the abnormal images in the top row come from patients with addiction disorders.
Notice that the addicts have fewer than average dopamine receptors (called D2 receptors) in their brains? This means that weaker dopamine signals are sent between cells. Their reward response is not as sensitive as a “normal” non-addicted person and it’s thought that they then compensate by over-consuming what they’re addicted to. Furthermore having a sugar addiction is the basically the same as it is for: smoking, alcohol and cocaine.
This chart shows that chronic sugar (fructose) consumption is as toxic to the body’s health as the chronic use of alcohol (ethanol).
As the PET brian scans revealed, illegal drugs AND sugar can be very bad for you. When consumed in large amounts, sugar leads to obesity and diabetes. Sugar can also affect your metabolism, brain function and make you more susceptible to heart disease and cancer. Digesting too much sugar can EVEN give you premature wrinkles!
By the year 2050 the Centers for Disease Control projects a double or triple-fold increase in Americans with diabetes. Another study published in Population Health Metrics projects 21% – 33% of Americans will have diabetes.
Another study warns the generation of U.S. children today are expected to live shorter lives than their parents, and that by 2050, a third of the population will have diabetes.
A film called ‘Fed Up’, produced and narrated by Katie Couric sheds light on how the massive junk food industry plays a role in America’s obesity crisis. In the film Dr. David Kessler, a former Food and Drug Administration commissioner goes so far to predict that the obesity crisis fuelled by sugar will end up as “one of the greatest public health epidemics of our time”. If you’re interested to view the film’s trailer, follow this link: www.youtube.com/watch?v=71j8TPwkTQE
In the film, ‘Fed Up’ Dr. Robert Lustig who’s a professor of pediatric medicine at the University of California of San Francisco mentions, “There are 600,000 food items in America. 80% of them have added sugar”. Today the average American daily diet contains about 500 sugar calories, and THAT equals 10 strips of bacon!
Nutritionalists say a productive way to limit your sugar intake, even if the market makes sweet foods nearly impossible to cut out entirely, is to decrease the visibility of it within your home. For instance, Brian Wansink and colleagues at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign found that “putting it in a drawer, lowered consumption by a third”.