Sugar Addiction: It Doesn’t Exist, Psychologist Claims. Oh, Really?

Montclair State University psychologist Debra A. Zellner, Ph.D. told a group of reporters at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., at a conference called "Understanding Sweetness," that research suggests people don’t actually become physiologically dependent on sweets.

So reports the allegedly not-addicted-to-Nutella editor Katherine Hobson, who tipped us off to this fascinating conference in U.S. News & World Report.

In fact, Hobson points out, Dr. Zellner argues that instead people condition themselves to crave certain treats under certain circumstances.

Oh really? People don’t get addicted to sweets and refined carbs?

Not according to experts I interviewed for my book SUGAR SHOCK! Sure, researchers may have shied away from the "addiction" word and preferred the term "dependency," but Princeton University and Laurentian University researchers, among others, found that rats deprived of sugar actually went through withdrawal symptoms.

In fact, I found so much data to dispute Dr. Zellner’s claim that I devoted an entire chapter to the subject, called "Proof Pours In: New Studies Show That You Can Become Dependent on Sweets."

Wait. This gets more interesting.

The conference was presented by a food think tank called Oldways.

Now get this: Oldways’ long list of sponsors include Dunkin’ Donuts and Frito Lay. No comment.

By the way, Hobson wrote a sidebar on 3 Ways to Beat Sweet Tooth Cravings, citing Dr. Zellner’s tips. (I agreed with the first two, but for many people, the latter tip won’t work — they’re just too hooked on the stuff. See my comment on the U.S. News & World Report blog.

Sugar was once my go-to "drug." Now, I'm an ex-sugar-addicted journalist. ALL 44 of my baffling ailments vanished after I reluctantly kicked the sweet stuff and quickie carbs in 1998. Now, I’m author of the expose, Sugar Shock (Berkley Books, 2006) and Beyond Sugar Shock (Hay House, 2012), which gives you a simple, proven plan to kick sweets. My next book, Crush Your Crazy Cravings™ -- which I'm now completing -- will give you easy, tested tools to squash your cravings for sugar, salt and fatty foods. I’m also a motivational speaker, certified life coach, certified health coach, media guest, and Gab with the Gurus host. I'm also organizer for the upcoming Sugar World Summit. Let’s connect on social media!

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