"IS SUGAR ADDICTIVE?" is the title of Marion Nestle's blog post dated January 7, 2010, on her wonderful, most informative blog, Food Politics.
Either way you flip it, both sides of the coin are extremely interesting here:
Say there is such a thing as sugar addiction (I know most of you reading this believe there is, and that is why you are here). What is going to happen to the multitudes of people with this addiction?! How are food suppliers/manufacturer's/FDA/USDA going to respond, not to mention nutritionists, dietitians, naturopath doctors and M.D.'s? Not only do we have a national eating disorder (preoccupation with food, food used as entertainment, overeating, etc.) but a possible national sugar addiction?
What is at stake? Health, money and politics, in my opinion.
- HEALTH: Being addicted to a non-nutritive substance related to diabetes, heart disease, overweight, and other health issues. What are the national and individual implications?
- MONEY: The trade-off for food suppliers to supply us with food is to make money. When we buy food at the grocery store we are surrounded by obvious junk foods/beverages but also foods with "hidden" sugars, like salt, pepper, bread, sauce, etc. With every purchase of food we are casting a vote in the system of supply and demand. Though in some cases the supply creates the demand, for the most part suppliers follow demand trends. Because we love our goodies so much and continue to buy them, we are putting money in the pockets of those who are creating the goodies.
- POLITICS: Ever heard of the Snack Food Association? (I can't help myself from picking on them). In part, they: "Serve as the voice for the snack food industry before government," among other things.
Whether there will ever be a clinical term coined for sugar addiction, there exists a problem. I had it, and I see it, hear about it and read about it every day.
If you have the time, jump over to Food Politics to read the post and the very interesting comments that follow. "Mason" put it best: "So is sugar physically and chemically addictive, or is that dependence purely psychological? I don’t think it matters. Either way, we’re so addicted to our lifestyles and our rabid-overconsumption that arguing the point seems trival. Who cares if the lights don’t work when the plane is crashing?"