Originally Posted by Locke
As someone who has been addicted to drugs and alcohol I find it funny when people say they are addicted to stuff like sugar or diet sodas. The jury is out on whether or not diet sodas are harmful for your body.
As far as your brain is concerned, it's the same thing. Pleasure centers activated by vodka, cocaine, gambling, sex, sugar, tobacco, pain, doesn't matter.
And sugar can hit the brain just like cocaine, they've proven it:
Professor Joseph Schroeder and his students Jamie Honohan, Becca Markson, Gabriela Lopez and Katrina Bantis of Connecticut College in New London found rats formed an equally strong association between the pleasurable effects of eating Oreos and a specific environment as they did between cocaine or morphine and a specific environment.
They also found that eating cookies activated more neurons in the brain's "pleasure center" than exposure to drugs of abuse.
"Our research supports the theory that high-fat/high-sugar foods stimulate the brain in the same way that drugs do," Schroeder said in a statement. "It may explain why some people can't resist these foods despite the fact that they know they are bad for them."
Addiction is addiction, an addict is an addict. Doesn't matter what the drug of choice is, it's how the brain responds to the drug. That's why addicts switch from one addiction to another. They haven't cured the problem, just shifted its focus. So it stands to reason if the brain perceives it's getting something sweet and it provides that surge of endorphins then it doesn't matter if the sweetness is actually sugar/fructose/sucrose or aspertame/saccharin/sucralose. Heck, people go from being addicted to drugs or alcohol to something healthy, like exercise, and then turn into gym junkies and start abusing their bodies that way, too. I personally believe eating disorders might fall into that category as well. People are very good at continuing to do things that reward their brains even if the behavior itself is destructive to their bodies.