Why Sugar is the New Cigarette

By Genevieve Cunningham

Every time we turn around, it seems as though there is a brand new danger to our health. Every generation seems to have a habit, a food, or a product that seems perfectly harmless but is later exposed as a major detriment to our well-being. For past generations, it was alcohol, salt, and cigarettes. But today’s world? The culprit may be something that all of us love and none of us want to give up. While the jury is still out, take a look at these reasons why sugar may be in the running for being the new cigarette.

It Raises the Risk of Major Disease

Once upon a time, people didn’t realize that cigarettes posed such a serious risk to health. But they do risk your health, and as recent research indicates, so does sugar. Excessive consumption of sugar has been linked to extra weight, the development of diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure. Though it’s not an automatic link, the connection between sugar intake and certain diseases continues to grow.

It’s Addictive

At this point, we all know that cigarettes are addictive. The habit itself is mentally addictive, and the nicotine is physically addictive. Quitting is incredibly difficult. As people are beginning to find out, sugar also has an addictive property. When people try to cut back or eliminate sugar from their diet, they can suffer from headaches, confusion, and other withdrawal symptoms.

It’s Marketed to Kids

Believe it or not, cigarettes were originally marketed to children. Have you ever heard of Joe Camel? He was a cartoon camel that claimed cigarettes were cool. The idea was that if you could hook children early, you had a customer for life. Though sugar may not be quite as bad, it is also marketed to children. Suckers, butterscotch, chocolate … once you taste it, you’re unlikely to stop. Are sugar companies trying to harm children? Probably not. But the earlier kids are hooked, the less likely they are to give it up, and the more likely the negative side effects are to show up.

Sugar is a strange and alluring food. We all love it, but it’s becoming hard to deny the risk to our overall health. Should you give it up completely? Only you and your doctor know for sure, but cutting back and managing consumption may be in your best interest if you want to remain as healthy as possible for a lifetime.

To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Chandler, Ariz.

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