Nutrisystem Expers say sugar Addiction on the Rise!

Sugar consumption addiction is similar to that which influences drug dependency? The addictive potential of sugar has been revealed, as the likes of Nutrisystem are also aware of. In the future, we may be able to explain the epidemic of obesity in adolescents, who have been accustomed from childhood to eat and drink too sweet food and beverages.

Is the appreciation of sweet taste “innate” in childhood?

Yes, that assessment has been observed in infants for a long time, but it would have already been acquired in utero. Further, everyone has different sensitivities to the sweet taste, as influenced by genes, culture, and age. It is not mentioned whether maternal nutrition, especially those that follow certain dietary regimens like Nutrisystem’s, is a factor.

The craving for sweetness is very pronounced at birth and during childhood (up to age 15 years), but this decreases in adulthood and then stabilizes.

If a baby already likes the sweet taste at birth, that means he already has an emotional relationship with sugar. Can we deduce whether it is a need? Absolutely.

There is a very early link between the sweet taste and pleasure. It is a physiological need because our body needs the energy that sugar provides. However, sugar consumption also provides sensory pleasure. Our brain receives a message  that  insinuates satisfaction equates to gustatory pleasure (and thus the neurotransmitter release).

But can pleasure triggered by the sweet taste become dangerous and lead to sugar addiction? Can the same be applied to Nutrisystem’s desserts?

Let’s say that sugary foods are good, so we are moving more easily to this type of food (the sweet taste corresponds to “fast” sugars, not the starchy ones). The attraction for sweetness is checked, but also for foods with high energy density, high fat, and increased sweet, which attract and “relieve” stress/anxiety. But according to a recent analysis, no real addiction to sugar exists in humans.

The real addiction is characterized by:

– Greed, or a loss of self-control;

– Tolerance, always compelled to eat more to get the desired effect;

– Withdrawal symptoms,.


– The preference for the sweet taste diminishes with age;

– Sugar consumption does not lead to tolerance: it is not necessary to consume more and more to get the desired effect;

– The obese do not have a taste for the sweet as those of normal weight;

– Obesity increases while sugar consumption has remained stable for 40 years;

– Some people use food (not a particular food, not even the sweet ones) like a drug, but then it is a pathological behavior that is bulimic-type;

– Weaning oneself from the consumption of sugary foods was not observed, unlike those having nicotine dependency issues, for example.

Do these happen when one is deprived of sweet foods, as is the case when on a diet?  Is a person’s desire to consume sweet foods exacerbated? Is there a similar effect with dietary regimens like Nutrisystem?

Prohibitions and very restrictive diets promote frustration and, consequently, significant negative effects due to compensation. Eliminating sugars appears to cause more mood deterioration as the brain feeds mainly on sugar. This increases the risk of eating disorders.

Nutrition tips for managing the “taste for sweetness”

The prohibition of sweets must be moderated, especially in children. It is better to teach them to eat sugar and have them realize that “this is not good for health.”

Also, one must learn to chew on food that is the source of sweet treats or beverages, instead of indulging on liquid sugars, in order to appease one’s appetite.

Learn to read labels: they sometimes are misleading and lead to higher consumption. “No Sugar Added,” “reduced sugar,” or “no sugar” do not have the same meaning!

Although products labeled “light” may help, it is by no means a solution. Perhaps those well-balanced regimens by Nutrisystem may be more of a solution.

Limit sugary drink consumption on special occasions. It should and do not replace water!

Do not focus on sugar if you want to reduce calories!

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