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Debunking the Myth of the Sugar High

Debunking the Myth of the Sugar High

Sugar is certainly not the most nutritious food around, but a recent study says it's also gotten an undeserved bad rap.

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Durham, N.C. - Chances are, most of us can remember Mom warning us not to eat too much candy or other sweets, or else we'd get hyperactive, start bouncing off the walls and generally act wild from all that sugar. It turns out that, at least this once, Mom was mistaken. Dr. Richard Surwit, chief of medical psychology at Duke University Medical Center, studied sugar's effects on volunteers in a weight-loss program. Not only did subjects lose equal weight on calorie-controlled high-sugar and no-sugar diets, he found no negative side effects.

"Nobody reported any behavioral problems, any mood swings, any anxiety, any hyper-kinetic kind of behavior."


In fact, Surwit says, the notorious"sugar high" probably comes from treats containing stimulants such as the caffeine in chocolate. And where did this myth come from? Surwit says it originated during World War II, when sugar was in short supply and the government wanted to reduce consumption.

"In order to keep people from eating it, they spread this as part of their propaganda. Then, after the war was over, it just stuck." 

For MedMinute, I'm Cabell Smith.

contact sources : Dr. Richard Surwit , (919) 684-5712
surwi001@mc.duke.edu

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Contact: Cabell Smith
Affiliation: Office of News and Communications
Phone: (919) 681-8067

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More Information

Contact: Cabell Smith
Affiliation: Office of News and Communications
Phone: (919) 681-8067