Sugar consumption can create a short-term high and spark of energy in the body. Some studies have suggested sugar is as addictive as cocaine. People often enjoy the dopamine release sugar brings. However, due to the addictive nature of sugar, long-term health effects like obesity and diabetes are as a risk of sugar overindulgence. Similar to other compulsions or behavioural addictions, sugar addiction is a special risk for people with low moods, anxiety and stress.
Additionally, people who suffer from constant tiredness may reach for carb-rich sugary foods. Sugar releases endorphins in the body and combines with other chemicals in the body, resulting in a surge of energy. Once someone mentally connects sugar with help providing energy, they may become dependent on it, usually inadvertently. People may begin to crave sugar to balance irritability, emotional lows, and other conditions. Eventually, there is little control over avoiding sugary foods, and a sugar addiction has developed.
Unlike many other substance use disorders or behavioural compulsions, sugar addiction is often easy to spot. The clearest signs of sugar addiction involve consumption of large amounts of food or drinks laden with sugar. The individual may eat constantly, eat to combat boredom, and become hyper and crash. They may even talk about craving sugar after stressful or irritating life experiences.