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Sweet Tooth in Children Linked to Alcoholism?

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A new study has one mom worried.

cupcake and cocktail

Guest blogger Lena: Uh oh.

My kid LOVES sweets. And now a new study, published in the journal "Addiction," says that kids with a wicked sweet tooth are also more likely to have a family history of alcoholism and depressive symptoms.

How, um, depressing. Does this mean my little girl will become an alcoholic later in life, just like several close members of my family? Or will she be depressed, like relatives on my husband's side?

This study DOES NOT mean a kid who likes ultra-sweetened foods will become an alcoholic, says researchers. It's just a link between sweets-preference and family members with alcoholism or depression.

Well, they got me there. Our family tree has both.

Sweets and alcohol activate many of the same reward circuits in the brain, the researchers say.

That makes sense, I guess, but I'm not really sure what to DO with this information. For now, I am cutting back on desserts for the whole family. I am not really sure if this will make her less likely to hit the bottle twenty years from now, but it's worth a shot.

What do YOU think of this study? Good point ... or downright pointless?


next: Whoa! Pregnant Man Expecting Third Child!
5 comments so far | Post a comment now
Jen February 10, 2010, 4:29 PM

How about instead of blaming one specific disease or dysfunction of our parents, we actually accept the fact that perhaps we suffer from addictive personalities, and work to control our need for instant and continual satisfaction. My mom is an alcoholic - she’s been dry for over 20 years now, and she’s one of my idols - and I love sweets. That doesn’t mean that I can blame my desire or craving for the sweet stuff on my mom’s lack of control. Some things you just have to take responsibility for yourself!

Steph February 10, 2010, 4:39 PM

Drawing this link is completely inane. Like Jen said, addictive personality disorder is the culprit. When we start seeing addiction as a disease, then we can properly look at methods of dealing, instead of blaming parents.

Jeff Prager February 16, 2010, 4:12 AM

Parents fail. They aren’t terribly well educated and don’t have the time to pursue self-education once married and raising a family. Blame yourself since you didn’t read the voluminous research on High Fructose Corn Syrup.

C February 16, 2010, 1:51 PM

There is a link with sugars and alcohol and growing yeast. Alcohol and sugars feed yeast and fungus. When yeast overgrows, it produces chemicals for cravings equal to the cravings of a heroin addict. It is biological. Yeast and fungus also produce toxins and alcohols as byproducts so it becomes a vicious cycle. So, if there is a tendency in the family, make it a point to go for healthier snacks to build healthier patterns. I struggle with chronic systemic yeast/fungal infections and it is no fun. Forming healthy patterns in life is key.

tabletki na pryszcze April 3, 2011, 7:31 AM

It’s good too read your site again dude, i see some interesting updates here…


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