Sugar addiction much harder to address than salt
By David Burrows, 01-Dec-2015
Weaning the public off salt is a piece of cake compared to reducing their addiction to sugar, scientists have discovered.
This is a fascinating peek into the physical and addictive repercussions of sweets.
As a RD (Registered Dietitian), we are trained in Motivational Interviewing. In a nutshell, we attempt to connect to the client without judgement in an attempt to understand them. Then we encourage these people to set goals they deem appropriate for their situation and give support.
Encouraging people to eat less salt, fat, sugar, or other foods/beverages can be a part of this process, and over time encouragement can become physical as the people start wanting less salt/fat/sugar/etc… and have an easier time sticking with their changes over the longterm. Reducing salt intake is an example, where a person’s taste changes and they do not feel the need for additional salt. However, this study suggests that addiction to sugar does not seem to work the same way. Even with a low-sugar intake over a long time people can crave additional sugar and will readily return to their diet.
This means we need to understand the difficulty of breaking a sugar intake habit. The motivation cannot be purely external, such as scare tactics or soapboxing (popular in social media). The habit can only be broken and maintained with a personal choice, and that person may still be tempted to return to their habits. If we understand this and forgive people for their mistakes, perhaps we can encourage change. Or at least be conscious about eating that slice of cake in front of our dieting friend.
Sorry for the simple review this week. I’m gearing up for cookie day this weekend and will post the fun next week! Look forward to it!