Sugar has long been thought to be addictive, in a sense, though less stigmatizing than street or even pharmaceutical drugs in as much as we market it to children and sell it in five-pound bags.
However, the debate over sugar’s addictive nature has long raged, a teeter totter between biological processes and personal responsibility. What we do know is that many first-world countries are getting fatter, and sugar is often pegged as the culprit for Westerners’ scale tipping.
We all know sugar feels addictive for those who have difficulty maintaining a steady weight, but Paul van der Velpen of Amsterdam’s health service is taking it a step further.
Yes, in Amsterdam, where weed and hookers flow freely, sugar is being hailed as a dangerous drug — and perhaps rightly so.
A rough translation of van der Velpen’s excoriation of sugar’s addictive and drug-like properties from a UK source explains how the substance affects human decision-making — so much so it poses a major health threat.
“Just like alcohol and tobacco, sugar is actually a drug. There is an important role for government. The use of sugar should be discouraged. And users should be made aware of the dangers… This may seem exaggerated and far-fetched, but sugar is the most dangerous drug of the times and can still be easily acquired everywhere.”
Much like other dangerous drugs, sugar influences people to engage in health-threatening behaviors, he continues:
“Sugar upsets that mechanism. Whoever uses sugar wants more and more, even when they are no longer hungry. Give someone eggs and he’ll stop eating at any given time. Give him cookies and he eats on even though his stomach is painful.”
The Dutch public health official concludes:
“Sugar is actually a form of addiction. It’s just as hard to get rid of the urge for sweet foods as of smoking. Thereby diets only work temporarily. Addiction therapy is better.”
Progressive for sure, but a directive America would find itself crippled beneath.
Do you agree sugar is an addictive drug and a leading cause of poor health and death due to an inadequate diet?