LivingSugary drinks are addictive and harmful

Sugary drinks are addictive and harmful

Unsurprisingly, all those tasty sodas and tasty sugary drinks not only increase your risk of diabetes and other chronic diseases, but they can also be addictive.

According to a study by researchers from the University of California belonging to the Davis and Berkeley Campuses with adolescents between 13 and 18 years old, when they were deprived of sugary soft drinks for three days they showed signs of suffering from headaches, anxiety and other characteristic symptoms of having a withdrawal syndrome . The 25 young people who participated in this exploratory study drank at least three soft drinks a day until the day before the investigation began, aimed at studying the effects of cola, soda and other soft drinks on the health of adolescents.

Throughout the three days when they were deprived of their usual dose of sugary soft drinks, those affected reported experiencing increasing headaches, lack of motivation to carry out their academic tasks, difficulty concentrating, lack of satisfaction, anxiety and irresistible desire to drink sweet drinks and in general a decrease in their levels of well-being. The results of the research were published in the journal Appetite , in an article titled Potentially addictive properties of sugar-sweetened beverages among adolescents .


“A lot of research points to sweet drinks as a possible cause of a few chronic diseases . According to our study, these drinks also have potentially addictive properties, and due to their ubiquity and ease of purchase and the amount of publicity they receive, they are especially worrying and dangerous for public health ”, in the opinion of the main author of the article, Jennifer Falbe, Professor in the Department of Human Ecology at the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at the University of California at Davis.

The adolescents involved, all overweight, were instructed to continue their usual soft drink consumption for five days and to stop sugary drinks for the next three days and only drink water or plain milk . For participating, they were rewarded with $ 160 each. All of them lived in the San Francisco bay area, in different social environments, recorded in a diary what they consumed and reported on them to researchers. Three-quarters of the total were girls. They also provided saliva samples to analyze caffeine intake, which could affect the results. Most of them were not heavy caffeine consumers before the study began, so it could be ruled out that the withdrawal was due to the lack of this substance and instead due to the lack of sugar contained in the soft drinks . Nine of the participants failed to comply with the rules, as they drank flavored milk instead of milk alone.

The study found that the results were consistent with other previous research that had analyzed the addictive potential of sugar and its relationship with other situations of substance abuse. The researchers added that the study was much needed because sugary soda consumption among teens has increased fivefold since the 1950s , and adolescence is a time when the chances of addiction increase. This increased consumption of sugar has made obesity among young people more common than ever . Due to the impact that this study may have on public health, it should be repeated with a larger sample of the population, according to the researchers, as it could help launch campaigns to reduce sugar consumption.

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