An Introduction to the Overconsumption of Sugar

Is Sugar Addictive and What is Problematic about Its Inclusion in Manufactured Foods?

I am one of the more than 7 million people who are responsible for Dr. Robert Lustig’s video lecture Sugar: The Bitter Truth going viral. I have watched the video at least 20 times and I have given an equal amount of time to his second hour and a half presentation Fat Chance: Fructose 2.0.  Lustig is an engaging presenter who makes non-scientists care about the biochemistry and physiology of sugar metabolism. There are catch phrases that refuse to leave the mind. As someone who spent her early career evaluating programs that treated clients for addition to alcohol and other substances the phrase that stood out for me was “It’s alcohol without the buzz.”

This led me to Dr. Nicole Avena, who attempts to explain in words that we can all understand how the brain reacts to sugar.


In the US, the problem with getting just a little bit of sugar is that most of the food eaten is manufactured and most manufactured food contains sugar. To borrow another term from Dr. Lustig, Sugar is Hiding in Plain Sight.


Dr. Avena can, of course, present her work using more scientific detail and she can explain how sugar addiction  meets the criteria for addiction set forth in the DSM.

Dr. Avena works primarily with animal models and refers us to Dr. Gearhardt to see more of the work done with humans.

Ashley Gearhardt, Yale and Rudd Center for Policy and Obesity, explores what makes certain foods capable of triggering an addictive process. (#21692)


Reference Lists

Lustig References

Avena References

Gearhardt Rederences


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