Sugar is toxic and “should be controlled like alcohol and tobacco to protect public health, according to a team of UCSF researchers, who maintain” “that sugar is fueling a global obesity pandemic, contributing to 35 million deaths annually worldwide from non-communicable diseases like diabetes, heart disease and cancer.”
This is from a Science Daily summary of a new 2012 report in Nature, Public health: The toxic truth about sugar.
I’d like to add that sugar is also contributing to mental health problems. An Australian researcher, Dr. Felice Jacka, has authored a number of studies looking at food quality and anxiety, depression and bipolar disorder. This 2010 study in The American Journal of Psychiatry found that a “western” diet of processed or fried foods, refined grains, sugary products, and beer was associated with a higher risk of anxiety and depression
While I feel that it is great that researchers recognize just how harmful sugar is, controlling it like alcohol and tobacco will only help to some extent. We also have to address the underlying neurotransmitter and nutritional deficiencies that contribute to sugar addiction.
Yes, sugar is addicting as drugs, alcohol and tobacco! If we just take the sugar away, say to keep it out of the house, only eat small amounts or only eat sugar one day of the week – we are asking you to rely on will-power and self-discipline. And we all know how effective that is!
As I recently reported at a Holistic Moms twitter party on food and mood:
“Sugar was by far the biggest offender with many participants discussing how difficult it can be to break the sugar habit”.
Rosie O’Donnell was recently on the Dr Oz show talking about her weight, her depression and her relationship with food. And she made this very profound statement: “being overweight is an accepted societal addiction”. This is what she said when talking about her own sugar/carb addiction “I think about candy bars all night during Halloween” and “I could survive on bread and butter”. And she was very honest and vulnerable when she admitted “I know this…I’m a smart person…I get this…but I can’t seem to fix it. I’m smart but I’m screwed up!”
Here are some steps to help you quit your sugar addiction and not feel deprived. I’d love Rosie, and all of you who battle with this addiction to toxic sugar, to know that there ARE answers!
Sugar is closely related to anxiety, affecting blood sugar swings, depleting you of key nutrients and much more. Sugar is covered in great detail in The Antianxiety Food Solution: How the Foods You Eat Can Help You Calm Your Anxious Mind, Improve Your Mood and End Cravings, now available in major books stores, at Amazon and via www.antianxietyfoodsolution.com.