Almost everyone can agree that sugar tastes delicious. From candy to pastries and even cereal, sugar is added to many of America’s top selling foods in an effort to sweeten the deal for consumers. If you visit the dentist regularly, you are probably aware that too much sugar can cause tooth decay and eventually cavities. Most recently, however, a new study has been published that suggests an even more severe side effect to too much sugar consumption.
For researchers at the College of Connecticut, there’s no question about it: Junk food is addictive. Most addictive are heavily processed snacks that have high levels of sugar and fat, like Oreo cookies. In fact, a recent study indicates that Oreo cookies are just as addictive as cocaine or morphine. This is a startling discovery for parents and children alike, as Oreos are one of America’s favorite sandwich cookies. Nevertheless, the discovery underscores and important fact: The American diet is rich in high-fat and high-sugar snacks that wreak havoc on the teeth, gums, and total body health.
Today, the average person consumes 150 pounds of sugar each year—nearly 20 times the amount consumed by the average person in the 18th century (i). Only about 60% of those calories are metabolized and converted into immediate energy; the remaining 40% are converted into fat molecules, stored, and reserved for energy production later. With this in mind, it is easy to see how sugar consumption is a key contributor to obesity. New research shows that excessive sugar consumption also leads to a number of other life threatening diseases, including type II Diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. Miami dentists have begun to spread awareness for this issue, warning patients to be weary of daily sugar intake not only to prevent cavities but to preserve total body health as well.