Sugar addiction[dubious– discuss] is the term for the relationship between sugar and the various aspects of food addiction including: "bingeing, withdrawal, craving and cross-sensitization". Some scientists assert that consumption of sweets or sugar could[weasel words] have a heroin addiction like effect.
Finally, a 2008 study noted that sugar affects opioids and dopamine in the brain, and thus might[weasel words] be expected to have addictive potential. It referenced "binging, withdrawal, craving and cross-sensitization", and gave each of them operational definitions in order to demonstrate behaviorally that sugar binging is a reinforcer. These behaviors were said to be related to neurochemical changes in the brain that also occur during addiction to drugs. Neural adaptations included changes in dopamine and opioid receptor binding, enkephalinmRNA expression and dopamine and acetylcholine release in the nucleus accumbens.[non-primary medical source needed]
^ abcAvena, Nicole M.; Rada, Pedro and Hoebel, Bartley G. "Evidence for sugar addiction: behavioral and neurochemical effects of intermittent, excessive sugar intake". Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, 2008;32(1):20-39. Epub 18 May, 2007. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2235907/