Is sugar really as addictive as cocaine and other drugs? Just how addictive is sugar? These questions have been buzzing for years.
In the 1960s, the idea of healthy food consumption was still novel. The understanding that fats affect our risk of heart disease was also new; public consciousness was not yet centered on the effects of fats and sugars on our bodies and overall health. Since the 1960s, however, numerous independent and peer-reviewed studies have concluded that sugar consumption is a substantial component when it comes to obesity, diabetes and heart disease. The sugar industry denies all such claims.
When Amsterdam’s obesity rate topped that of the rest of the Netherlands, the city took action. In the early 2000s, a fifth of the city’s children were considered overweight, with 2,000 weighing in as morbidly obese. A program that targets sugary drinks, fast food and sedentary lifestyles helped the city cut those rates 12 percent between 2012 and 2015 — small but notable progress in a fight much of the world is facing today.