Many scientists argue that sugar would be more addictive than cocaine, but this is not unanimous among researchers.
Some researchers such as Serge Ahmed, director of research CNRS and neuroscientist, explain that the sugar addiction is undeniable. Questioned by the Express, this French specialist even believes that those who question this addiction would be at best incompetent at worst “financed by the sugar industry”.
If there is a scientific consensus on the dangers of overconsumption of sugar (obesity, caries,…), then the positions diverge when it comes to dependence on sugar and even more when it is a question of comparing it to that induced by hard drugs.
The “reward scheme”
Another argument for the addictive effect of sugar is the fact that it activates, in our brain, a circuit that is also activated by drugs. The reward circuit, as its name implies, rewards an action by a sensation of pleasure, produced by the secretion in our brain of a neurotransmitter: dopamine.
So sugar and drugs have the same purpose: to produce a sensation of pleasure that will encourage us to reiterate the experience. In one case, take back the drug, in the other, eat something sweet again.
Moreover, it is not for nothing that eating is sometimes a pleasure, the mere satisfaction of a gluttony, and not the immediate satisfaction of a natural need.
Tom Sander, professor emeritus of nutrition and dietetics at King’s College London, believes that if there is indeed the possibility of developing a certain habit of sweets, this is not an addiction like that which can develop for hard drugs.