Too much of anything is not a good thing. Health experts agree that too much smoking leads to lung cancer. They affirm too much sugar contributes to diabetes. What doctors and scientists do not agree on is the relationship between sugar and tobacco. The debate over the causes of tobacco and sugar addiction is ongoing. Prevention tools such as tobacco and sugar diets along with self-help quizzes sober up addicts.
Action on Sugar chairman Graham MacGregor pushes for a 30 percent sugar reduction in food products. Regulators count up the cost of calories from sugar. Researchers draw conclusions that sugar directly impacts obesity, spawning disease and death. “We must now tackle the obesity epidemic in the UK and worldwide,” MacGregor said.
“Sugar is the new tobacco,” according to Action on Sugar spokesman Simon Capewell. Former MP Health Secretary Andrew Lansley thinks otherwise. He calls the analogy inappropriate. The Commons Leader has no spat with Consensus Action on Salt and Health for eliminating salt intake. Lansley points to the need for sugar consumption, as it is an essential component in nutrition. He notes the problem with sugar is excess.
Lansley does not see how consumers can adjust to significantly less sugar in their choice products. He said removing the calories from sugar in food should be done, gradually overtime. The health group sculpted a plan fit to meet that need. Food companies prompted to get sugar down by 20 to 30 percent should do so between three and five years. The move equates removing 100 calories per day in the average person’s diet.
Dr. Aseem is the science director with Action on Sugar who claims sugar carries no nutritional value at all and provides no gratification. Yet, overdoses of sugar consumption is common.
Tobacco and sugar addicts need ways to sober up from excess. Endocrinologist Robert Lustig tells The Athens News, that a number of studies “in animals and humans, show that the area of the brain, the reward center, is affected by sugar the same way it is by tobacco,” additionally states Lustig the brain responds the same way with alcoholic beverages. Stunningly, the studies, continue Lustig, show a similar response from using drugs like cocaine and heroin, resulting in what he calls, “continued consumption.”
Neuroscientist Eric Stice backs that argument. He believes tobacco and sugar are not apples and oranges, but taking a street drug is comparable to consuming a cupcake. Stice explains that dopamine kicks in when eating sugary foods. Once the body becomes immune to this sugar “high,” the taste buds crave more sugar to be content.
Tobacco addicts can lessen cravings by making cigarettes taste bad. Dairy, fruits and vegetables dampen taste buds when smoking. The Duke University study proves 45 percent of smokers agree that water and juice belong on that list of products. 70 percent of those surveyed said meat, caffeine and alcohol compliments the taste of cigarettes.
Sugar addicts should prevent dependence on high calorie intake with five steps. Scientists and nutrition experts detail several tips to cope during withdrawal and adjust to a healthier diet:
- Avoid eating all sugary items.
- Opt for more whole foods.
- Consume sugar with fiber such as fruit.
- Get plenty of sleep.
- Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.
Soaring cigarette taxes and the newly-created fat tax may help curb tobacco and sugar addictions, enabling sobriety through diet and lifestyle changes. To review if addiction may be a problem, see the quiz link at the end of this article.
By Teria Seah
Click here to take the addiction quiz -> The Addiction Quiz