You’ve been up all night studying and working on assignments, when your eyelids begin their steady descent.
Why shouldn’t they close? Don’t you deserve a good night’s sleep?
There is a menacing obstacle between you and completion: tiredness.
Suddenly, everything becomes a battle.
While waging this war, what weapon do you reach for?
The answer is most likely something sticky, sweet and extremely sugary.
Rachel Long, an ORU senior, said that when she studies late at night she craves sea salt caramel chocolate.
“Even when I can’t have it and it’s not in front of me, I crave it,” Long said.
Why do we long for sugary snacks in order to become more alert and perked up?
A study at Boston University has found that eating sugary snacks activates a region in the brain called the nucleus accumbens. This area of the brain is also stimulated by hard drug use.
By consuming high sugary snacks your brain acts like you are taking class A drugs.
It has long been argued whether food could be classified as an addiction. Some say that because we need food to survive, we naturally crave it; so there is no way that it can be claimed as an addiction.
However, the images revealed in MRI scanning of the nucleus accumbens area of the brain, which is apart of the dopaminergic mesolimbic system, indicate eating is for pleasure, rewards and submission to cravings.
Similarly, this area of the brain activates when addictive substances are consumed, such as heroin and cocaine.
For some, giving up sugar is an enormous sacrifice. When ORU freshman Jose Morales was asked whether or not he could go without sugar for a 24-hour period, he was skeptical.
“I doubt it. I could if I really put my mind to it. Maybe, for $100,” Morales said.
ORU sophomore, Laura Rosales, said she feels energized when eating sweets.
“Eating sugary things makes me happy. My go-to treat are sour watermelon gummies,” she said.
Dr. Lennerz of Harvard Medical School claims that this information is enough to classify food as an addiction.
A study by Harvard Medical School found that when given two different milkshakes, one with a much higher glycemic index than the other, the consumers of the milkshake with the higher amount of sugar were hungrier than those who had consumed the healthier shake.
Thus, overeating and the continual pick up of a sugary snack becomes habit, leading to a sugar addiction.