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.

I'm a former sugar-addicted journalist, who reluctantly quit sugar on doctor's orders in 1998. When all 44 of my crippling ailments vanished, I was so thrilled that I began interviewing hundreds of experts worldwide so I could give you the sour scoop about sweets. Fast forward 17 years, and I'm now author of Sugar Shock (Berkley Books, 2006) and Beyond Sugar Shock (Hay House, 2012). The latter gives you a simple, proven plan to easily, effortlessly squash your sugar habit. I'm also a motivational speaker, a certified life coach, a certified health coach, frequent media guest, and Gab with the Gurus host. I'm now planning the first first Sugar World Summit and I'm finishing writing my next book, Crush Your Crazy Carb Cravings™, which will help you easily escape your must-have-junk-food moments.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *