Is Sugar a Drug?

Can sugar be as addictive as cocaine?

Food addiction was never something I learned in school, but now I think I’m a believer. The Nutrition Action Health Letter recently had their lead article devoted to food addiction and I just received an email entitled “Sugar Is A Drug”. They introduce their email showing Jamie Oliver’s TED award speech and for good reason. The wheel barrel scene where he pours the sugar onto the stage shows the horrifying amount of sugar our children ingest. It’s worse now than in the 1970s. Watch the video.

Sugar shows up everywhere: Baked beans, dried cranberries, ketchup, cream substitutes, BBQ Sauce, reduced fat salad dressings, flavored popcorns, granola bars and many more food items.

Parents, help your kids cut down on sugar.

Here is what you do:

1.) Read labels. Limit processed foods like sugary cereals, granola bars, cookies, candies, jams and syrups.

2.) Opt out of juice and sports drinks, unless your child is training for the Olympics. Try to keep the kids hydrated with a glass of water or milk, but don’t flood them. Many parents are overly concerned about hydration. Serve a drink with meals and allow the kids to choose whether they drink or not. They will drink when their bodies tell them to.

3.) Offer plenty of fruits and vegetables. (You could have guessed I would say this) Concentrate your efforts on raising sweet kids without added sugars.

About Melanie Silverman

Melanie is a pediatric registered dietitian nutritionist (RD) and a board certified lactation consultant (IBCLC) working primarily in pediatric nutrition for well over 15 years. She spent seven years as a clinical dietitian at The University of Chicago Medical Center in the neonatal intensive care unit, pediatric intensive care unit, adult and pediatric burn units, and high risk pediatric follow-up clinic. She also served as an adjunct faculty member at Loyola University Chicago. Melanie has presented at state and national meetings for the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (ASPEN), March of Dimes, Prader-Willi California Foundation, Texas Prader-Willi Association, Oklahoma Prader Willi Syndrome Association, Foundation for Prader-Willi Research (FPWR) in the United States and Canada and the Prader-Willi Syndrome USA (PWSA). She worked hard for her Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry and Spanish from Indiana University and a Master’s degree in Clinical Nutrition from Rush-Presbyterian St. Luke’s Medical Center. A member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, California Dietetic Association, Pediatric Nutrition Practice Group, Women’s Health Group, Nutrition Entrepreneurs and an active member of the International Lactation Consultant Association.