Is it true that sugar is addicting?
For example, if I am at a party and there is a whole box of [Dunkin' Donuts] munchkins it is very hard for me to only have one!
-- Laura Bulner
That is one very popular myth.
Sucrose (table sugar, and what most people refer to when they say "sugar") is simply not an addictive substance.
When singled out and studied as an individual component, it has not been shown to induce physical or psychological addiction.
I do not believe any foods in and of themselves are addictive.
I think too many people jump to that conclusion by not recognizing the strong emotions that are behind many people's food choices.
The fact that someone may binge on Oreo cookies when feeling intense loneliness, sadness, or anxiety does not mean those cookies are addictive.
What it DOES point to is an addictive personality that, for whatever reason, uses food as an emotional release.
I also find that foods that get blamed as being addictive are ones that many people often severely restrict. Not surprisingly, these extreme positions then lead to overconsumption of the "forbidden" food, be it chocolate or fries.
What I always find semi-comical is that people are quick to attribute addictive qualities solely to high-calorie, sugar-laden foods, as if to make themselves appear helpless.
You never hear, for example, someone who loves celery and eats ten stalks every single day claim that "celery is addictive."
Besides, those who are somehow convinced that sugar is addictive only feel that way about the added sugar found in pastries, chocolate, and candies.
If this supposed addiction is as powerful as they claim, it makes you wonder why naturally sweet foods like fruits somehow don't "hit the spot."
Also, Laura, I am not sure why not being able to stop yourself at one individual piece of a particular food automatically makes it addictive, even more so in a situation where the food is in front of you for a long period of time.
The same thing you say about munchkins could be said about cheese, tortilla chips, sushi rolls, or blueberries!