Quit­ting fizzy pop is ‘like kick­ing drugs’ for teenagers

The Mail on Sunday - - Tina Weaver -

CHIL­DREN try­ing to cut down on sweet fizzy drinks suf­fer sim­i­lar with­drawal symp­toms to drug ad­dicts, ac­cord­ing to a new study.

Teenagers who nor­mally drank three cans of soft drinks a day but went ‘cold turkey’ suf­fered anx­i­ety, lethargy, headaches and crav­ings, re­searchers at the Uni­ver­sity of Cal­i­for­nia found.

Writ­ing in the jour­nal Ap­petite, Dr Jen­nifer Falbe said: ‘Ado­les­cents re­ported in­creased sugar-sweet­ened bev­er­age crav­ings and headache and de­creased mo­ti­va­tion, con­tent­ment, abil­ity to con­cen­trate, and over­all well­be­ing.’

She added: ‘High sugar in­take ac­ti­vates sim­i­lar neu­ral cir­cuitry and re­ward sys­tems as sub­stances of abuse. Ado­les­cence is a par­tic­u­larly sus­cep­ti­ble pe­riod for ad­dic­tion, when still-de­vel­op­ing brains are highly sen­si­tive to sub­stances and when risk­tak­ing is more likely.’

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