Americans are eating more sugar than ever. Could another addictive substance stop our infinite sweet tooth?”>
Sugar is a delectable enemy. Once thought to hold the secret to health, it is now believed to be fueling an obesity epidemic that encompasses 640 million people worldwide.
Despite an abundance of evidence about its dangers, Americans just cant quit sugar. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, an average person in the U.S. consumes an estimated 128 pounds each year.
This seemingly infinite sweet tooth has led experts to suggest that sugar may have more control over the brain than we realize. A game-changing study published in Plos One provides some of the strongest evidence to date that it does.
In it, researchers at Queensland University found that drugs used to treat nicotine addiction are also effective in treating sugar addiction in animals. The results not only prove a parallel between sugar and nicotine, but suggest a novel treatment for obesity.
Days before the sugar study was released, The Lancet published health data from 200 countries during the years 1975-2014. Among the studys sobering findings: For the first time in history, more humans are overweight than underweight.
In the U.S., tied with China for the highest rates of obesity, the numbers were particularly grim. From 1975-2014, the rate of morbidly obese Americans rose from 1.3 percent to 13.3 percent. The numbers were so troubling they led the lead researcher, Majid Ezzati, to declare the epidemic at a crisis point.
While there are many causes of obesity, sugar has long been considered the main culprit. A study from The Lancet in 2001 found that childrens odds of obesity to increase 60 percent for every 12-ounce soda they consumed each day. Since then, numerous studies have drawn a connection between the two.
Most recently, one published this March by researchers from the University of Reading, the University of Cambridge, and Arizona State University, found thatout of a group of more than 1700those who consumed the most sugar were 54 percent more likely to be obese.