Archive for the ‘Impulse Control’ Category

“Oh no…Sugar Makes me Dumb?!”

Friday, May 18th, 2012

It turns out that too much sugar not only makes you fat…it can also adversely affect your memory and ability to learn.  According to a study conducted by scientists at UCLA, too much fructose interferes with insulin’s ability to regulate how cells use and storehigh fructose corn syrup “Oh no…Sugar Makes me Dumb?!” sugar in the body.  Your body’s ability to use sugar efficiently is necessary to effectively process thoughts and emotions.  It can be argued, therefore, that sugar has as much of an impact on your mind as it does on your body.  

I have never been much of an extremist when it comes to nutrition.  My wife and I do not keep a lot of sweets in the house but I cannot say that we don’t have the occasional scoop of ice cream.  With that said, I have always believed that for a diet or fitness regimen to be successful and sustainable, it has to consist of a relatively simple lifestyle change…one that can be maintained for a lifetime.  This is why I have argued against diets such as the HCG Diet.  These diets offer effective short-term results; however, unless you are willing to change the way you eat after the weight is lost or after you have reached your fitness goals, you will eventually revert to your starting point (if not worse than you were to begin with).  

Therefore, I would never suggest that you should not have anything with sugar in it again (unless you have the willpower to pull it off).  Most likely, you would throw up your hands in frustration and say, “I just can’t do that!”  What I am suggesting is that your sugar intake should be reasonably moderated.  This is critical for our kids since we are establishing the patterns and habits for their future.  Maybe we can all be a little smarter in the process!

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Jonesing for Food

Friday, February 3rd, 2012

What if I were to tell you that your impulse to eat excessively may not entirely be your fault?  What if you were to learn that your “addiction” to food maybe due, in part, to a genetic predisposition?  For years the idea that a person could have an increased propensity to an

 Jonesing for Food

Food Addict

 addictive personality was rejected, or at the very least questioned.  How could their be a genetic connection when siblings did not share addictions on a consistent basis.  If one sibling had a Cocaine problem, shouldn’t the other experience this problem as well?  Scientists from Cambridge University have discovered that siblings do share these genetic markers.  The explanation for this phenomenon is not that one sibling is more inclined than another; rather, it was discovered that one siblings social experience or nurture experience can have a significant impact on whether or not they succomb to these addictive propensities.  Essentially, it was discovered that a person inclined to addictive activity had brain abnormalities that affected impulse control.  It isn’t impossible to control these impulses but these abnormalities make it more likely that a person will fall victim to these impulses.   

In the article the scientists made reference to obesity as an impaired control disorder.  I have met many addicts throughout my career as a law enforcement officer.  The general observation I have made is that their impaired control is not limited to any one vice.  If they are able to control one addiction, it is not uncommon for them to replace it with another.  Many of them espoused extreme views in all aspects of their lives.  If they were going to smoke, they were going to smoke a lot.  If they were going to drink coffee they were going to finish the pot and drink it black.  In the end, an addictive oriented person is going to find their addiction. 

I do not believe that it is impossible to control these compulsions, but it is obviously more challenging for people suffering from impaired control disorders.  The Federal government is now talking about regulating sugar thinking that they can control our behavior when it comes to what we eat.  I think there is a lack of understanding…at least when it comes to those “suffering” from obesity.  Based upon the Cambridge study, I do not believe most obese people will stop eating sugary foods.  They will do whatever it takes to get their “drug” of choice.  It will just be more expensive and more difficult to get. 

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