With some 70 percent of Americans now considered overweight, it is no wonder if many are asking themselves the question, "Am I addicted to sugar?" Recent studies showing that certain regions of the brain crave sugar and the common experience of sugar-withdrawal symptoms are two major indications that sugar can truly be addictive.
It is important to remember that, while a lack of self control and poor eating habits do not necessarily indicate an addiction, they can eventually lead to one. Furthermore, as "addiction implies psychological dependence" and is not merely a physical problem, the exact boundary between habit and addiction is hard to pinpoint. For this reason, a high score on this sugar addiction quiz is a warning sign even for those not technically addicted.
Below are given 15 questions to ask yourself in determining your level of sugar dependence:
1. Do I frequently consume excessive amounts of high-sugar foods like soft drinks, candy bars, and other junk food? Eating too much sugar, in itself, does not prove addiction, but it is the first warning sign that an addiction may be developing.
2. Do I plan to eat only a small amount of sugary food but then find myself eating far more of it than originally scheduled? A seeming lack of ability to limit sugar intake can be a sign of addiction.
3. Do I prefer processed sweets over natural sugar-sources like fruits? Since fruits contain fiber as well as carbohydrates, the blood-sugar spike they deliver is much more "tamed." Choosing junk sugar over natural sugar may indicate a craving for a blood-sugar high.
4. Do I binge on high-starch foods like french fries, potato chips, and pasta? Starch is a complex carbohydrate that the body will break down into simple sugars, thus it is essentially equivalent to sugar in its practical effects.
5. Do I find it hard to enjoy non-sugary foods? To a certain degree, our preferred tastes will be affected by our habits. If you never give yourself a chance to become accustomed to healthy foods, you will never learn to enjoy them.
6. Do I think about eating my favorite sweets for minutes on end every single day? Do I find it difficult to pull my thoughts away from sugar?
7. Do I feel that a meal is incomplete without a sugary snack to finish it off? Do I frequently complain that food I eat is not sweet enough?
8. Do I have daily sugar cravings and a daily cycle of sugar highs and lows? Do I experience tiredness and "the shakes" after my blood sugar drops and then reach for a sugar "fix" to renew my energy?
9. Do I know the health risks of eating too much sugar but collapse into sudden binges nonetheless? Do I feel guilty for eating too much sugar but find it impossible to stop?
10. Is eating sugary foods my source of excitement or comfort? Do eat sugar because I am having a bad day or because I am bored?
11. Have I made special trips to the store just to buy sugar products and been willing to wait in long lines and pay high prices to obtain it?
12. Have I tried drastic diet changes in the past to correct my excessive sugar intake and always failed to kick the habit?
13. Do my friends and relatives commonly remark that I love sugar, eat too much sugar, or am addicted to sugar?
14. Am I diabetic or pre-diabetic, and does this condition stem, at least indirectly, from eating too much sugar? Sugar can cause obesity, which in turn, makes it more difficult to utilize insulin. Insulin is the hormone that moves glucose (sugar) from the blood stream into individual cells to be used for energy. Thus, sugar overdosing can indirectly increase the risk of developing diabetes.
15. Do I commonly experience sugar withdrawal symptoms when I do not consume much sugar for a day or two? Such withdrawal signs include:
- A constant sugar craving
- Mood swings
- Aches and pains
- Chills and sweats
If you had to answer "yes" to most of these sugar addiction quiz questions, you may well be addicted to or dependent on sugar. If you have found this sugar addiction quiz revealing, you may also wish to take the WizeLife health assessment quiz and then compare the two quiz results.
If you have a bad sugar habit or even an addiction, you are not at all alone. Most Americans consume nearly 300 calories in sugar each day, whereas 150 or fewer sugar calories are recommended.
It may be difficult to kick a sugar habit abruptly, and it can be discouraging to try and then fail. Gradually adjusting your diet and replacing junk food with healthy sweets is often the best solution.