Evil or Just Misunderstood? 5
real methamphetamine, o course, just a sugar prop, but candy maker Debbie Hall, who created the V version, quickly startedselling the ice-blue rocks in little drug baggies to ans at herAlbuquerque shop the Candy Lady.
Hall’s creation is just a novelty gag, but there are some peoplewho think that the sugar it’s made rom is as harmul as the methit’s imitating. Addiction researchers warn that the tasty plea-sures o candy, cakes, potato chips, and the rest o the sweet, atty indulgences we ondly know as “junk ood” light up the samebrain receptors as heroin and cocaine. A team at Yale showed pic-tures o ice cream to women with symptoms o “ood addiction”and ound that their brains resembled the brains o heroin ad-dicts looking at drug paraphernalia.
Te idea o ood addictionhas become part o the national anti-obesity conversation; evenKathleen Sebelius, U.S. secretary o health and human ser vices,announced in May 2012 that or some people, obesity is the re-sult o “an addiction like smoking.”
Te belie that craving a sugar fx is the same thing as jonesingor a hit o something stronger depends in large part on one’s def-nition o “addiction.” Representatives o the ood industry tend toavor a more narrow designation. A study unded by the WorldSugar Research Organization concluded in 2010 that although
humans defnitely like to eat sugar, the way we eat it doesn’tstrictly qualiy as addiction.
On the other hand, Dr. Nora D.Volkow o the National Institute on Drug Abuse warns that “pro-cessed sugar in certain individuals can produce . . . compulsivepatterns o intake.”
Compulsion isn’t quite addiction, but thereare even more alarming reports o research at Princeton and theUniversity o Florida, where “sugar-binging rats show signs o opiatelike withdrawal when their sugar is taken away—includingchattering teeth, tremoring orepaws and the shakes.”
Rats pliedwith a atty processed diet o Ho Hos, cheesecake, bacon, andsausage at the Scripps Institute didn’t do too well either; the rats