It’s a difficult thing considering I am addicted to this wonderful sweet substance.
I take after both parents who absolutely love sugary snacks. I realized last night I have a problem when I was scooping Nesquik powder for my hot chocolate and savoring the delectable sweetness of it all. Indeed a tasty reward which is a tough habit to break. A relationship I need to end and terminate now! 😦
I decided to do a little research on this topic and found the following article written by Dr. Mark Hyman, which states there may indeed be a genetic connection:
The Genetics of Pleasure
In our brain, a little receptor, the dopamine receptor D2 (or DRD2 for short), must be activated or switched on for us to feel pleasure. The amino acid dopamine triggers this response. Sugar and other stimulating addictions increase dopamine in the short term.
The only problem is it appears that those with sugar addictions, compulsive eating, and obesity have DRD2 systems that need much more stimulation to feel pleasure. Those who have sugar addiction, it seems have fewer D2 dopamine receptors and they need extra stimulation to make them “turn on”.(i)
Functional MRI studies of teenagers, both lean and obese, found that the obese teenagers whose brains didn’t light up as much in the dopamine reward centers were more likely to be obese and gain weight later.(ii) They also were more likely to have the DRD2 gene that coded for fewer receptors.
Makes sense, especially when I have seen my parents eating habits. There’s something existential about sugary rewards.
He goes on to discuss 5 signs you may be addicted to sugar, flour, and processed food:
- You consume certain foods even if you are not hungry because of cravings.
- You worry about cutting down on certain foods.
- You feel sluggish or fatigued from overeating.
- You have health or social problems (affecting school or work) because of food issues and yet keep eating the way you do despite negative consequences.
- You need more and more of the foods you crave to experience any pleasure or reduce negative emotions.
Time for me to detox