Christensen 1993

Self-Medicating with Sugar


In the last Christensen study of this course, the author takes a look at how carbohydrate cravings and consumption affect and are influenced by a wide variety of affective and behavioral disorders.

It will come as little surprise that many of us use food unconsciously to modulate our moods, with mixed results. Sugar seems to provide a temporary easing of anxiety-driven behavior but the effect tends to be short-lived ... a classic setup for addiction.

What may be a bit more of a surprise is how widely this phenomenon has been documented given the lack of attention to sugar's addictive dangers compared to other drugs-of-abuse. Modern societies jail substantial segments of their populations for indulging a taste for mood-altering substances not all that different in their power and effect than sugar.

This is a ten page paper; you have two hours to study it. This wide ranging review is extensively footnoted making it a great kick-off point for further study into these diet/disease connections. You may want to review the abstracts of these studies on PubMed. Watch the video to quickly review the main points of this study.

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