Sugar produces same cravings and withdrawals as cocaine, study finds

At this stage, most of us are aware of the adverse effects excess sugar consumption can have on our health, and while we may have great intentions to cut back, we always end up coming back for more.

So, what is it that makes the habit so damn hard to kick?

Well, according to researchers, sugar can be as addictive as cocaine, and they even suggest the sweet stuff should be considered a 'gateway drug'.

A recent study, published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, has shown that the consumption of added sugars can produce drug-like effects such as “bingeing, craving, tolerance, and withdrawal.”

The study's authors wrote: “Consuming sugar produces effects similar to that of cocaine, altering mood, possibly through its ability to induce reward and pleasure, leading to the seeking out of sugar.”

However, while these results might seem alarming to the sweet-lovers among us, other scientists have dismissed the research as simply “absurd.”

According to, Tom Sanders, emeritus professor of nutrition and dietetics at King’s College London, told The Guardian:

“While it is true that a liking for sweet things can be habit-forming it is not addictive like opiates or cocaine. Individuals do not get withdrawal symptoms when they cut sugar intake.”

So basically, while we could all benefit from having less of the sweet stuff in our lives, it doesn't look like we'll be checking ourselves into sugar rehabilitation programs any time soon.

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