What is sugar addiction?

What is sugar addiction?

My name is Bitten Jonsson,
I’m a sugar addict. And I’ve been one
since I was about 4 to 5 years old. I’m a nurse and I’ve also been working
for 24 years and met more than 6000 patients who have told me very touching stories
about their battle with food. This video series will be
about sugar addiction, what it is, what you should do if you have it,
how can you recover. And in this first video we’ll be talking
about what sugar addiction is. Well, at a conference in the US
I was listening to Mark Gold, one of the most prominent
researchers on: “Is sugar and flour
really a psychoactive drug?” Which means that it can affect
your reward system. And he said, “If it walks like a duck
and it quacks like a duck, it is probably a duck.” Every day I get two or three emails
from people who tell me “Can you please help me? “I’m eating myself to death.
I can’t stop. “I know I shouldn’t eat
these things, but I can’t stop. “What’s wrong with me? Am I crazy? Why am I such an abnormal,
bad character person?” Well, if this happens to be you,
you’re not, I promise you. For many years I could wake up
in the morning feeling really tired, restless,
listless and down. And I didn’t understand why. Many years later when I had the knowledge
and the research backing that up I understood that it was
the morning after an evening when I had binged on sugar and flour,
on the carbs. So sugar addiction is real. It is not something that you imagine. And if you have a loss of control
over certain foods, that is a really big problem
and can affect your life tremendously. And if you look at the reward system, you know, when we feel happy,
when we might get a new job… Have you ever been in love? You know that
that is a very potent feeling! And you feel really perked up,
you feel happy, you feel joyous, you’re not really tired,
you don’t have a lot of pain and aches. I’m telling you,
when that happens to you, your brain is flooded with dopamine
and endorphins, you know, a lot of neurotransmitters
in your brain. And this is what we mean
when we talk about a psychoactive drug. You know,
something that is psychoactive has the power to change
the neurotransmitters in your brain. And who could believe
that sugar could do that? Well, we thought about it
for many years, we saw people acting that way. I’ve never met a person
that will hide, sneak, lie and steal fish, boiled cod,
cucumber, can you imagine that? You just start laughing
when you think about it. But people are doing that
with sugary stuff, you know. With chocolate, with ice cream,
with cakes, cookies… You hide the wrapper
in the garbage can, you don’t want anyone to see
what you were really eating. You know, it’s food. You should be able to handle food,
shouldn’t you? Well, you know, if you look back
more than 60 years the kind of stuff
that’s in the food today was not then. There weren’t so much processed foods, it wasn’t added sugar and everything. I used to ask people
that are my age around 60, “When you were a kid, did you have
a jar of sugar in your house?” And they all said
“Yeah, we did.” “But do you have it now? Does the young people have a jar with sugar
in the house, in the kitchen cabinet?” “No, they don’t”, “How comes?
Why don’t you have a jar of sugar today?” Well, it is because sugar is added
into almost everything you buy, everything you eat today. So 85% of sugar
you get into your food today from eating what you think
is regular food. So sugar has the actual property
of changing your brain chemistry. So does it mean that anyone
that eat sugar is a sugar addict? No it doesn’t. We know today
from a lot of research that if you have
a sensitive reward system, that’s what it’s causing some people
to become addicted to it and the word addiction comes
from the Latin word “addicere“, which means “to be enslaved”. It means losing control,
something else is ruling you. And that’s what’s so unpleasant
with sugar addiction. It’s not you who is running the show. You’re like a missile, you know,
you’re locked on target. And once you get into being
hooked on sugar, you will do almost anything to eat it. And if you listen to people
telling their stories, you can see that it’s a very,
very potent drug. People steal to get sugar, people lie about it,
people get tremendous consequences. I mean being overweight is not fun. It’s very painful, it’s very unhealthy. And still people want to lose weight, but they still keep eating
and gaining weight. So the outcome is not
what you wanted to be. And that is one of the signs
of an addiction. I want to lose weight,
but I keep eating and gaining weight and then something is very wrong. You’re not a bad person, believe me,
you’re not psychologically sick. You have a very very, potent
changed brain chemistry and that is from a lot of processed food
that we have in our grocery stores today. And that’s really sad. So if you really want to learn
what this is all about dare go into having a diagnosis. Don’t stay at home and hide
and feel ashamed of something that you can actually do so much about. If you can relate to any of those things
that I’ve told you about please keep listening
to the videos coming next where I’m going to explain
why is this happening to you and what you can do about it.


  1. One of my personal struggles is with those who promote the unhealthy products. I am 100% all for the personal responsibility thing. No question. However, if the science is there to show how bad sugar is for human beings, why have those who promote it not been made to warn people with labeling? Much like the tobacco industry has been required to tell people their product can cause various problems. Is it because the sugar industry is in favor right now, and tobacco is falling out of favor? I'm not sure.

  2. I'm addicted to starches. Beans, rice, potatoes, pasta and bread. I now cut all of those out but beans and I eat them sparingly now.

    Blood pressure came way down and sugars improved marginally, but I'm less hungry.

  3. It is soooo hard to resist. Have been addicted since i was 19 and now 75 and still love bread and cake. I do watch what i eat for the most part because i am diabetic. Its a very real problem and awful to live with, when that intense craving comes over you. What can we do ?????????

  4. biggest start is veg-out after 4ish. if you can stick solely to vegetables before sleeping, you'll feel way better when you wake up

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