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Sugar vs. Stress

April 30, 2015

Do people use sugar to deal with stress?

Transcript

BOB HIRSHON (host):

Michael Porter flickr CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Sugary drinks may combat stress – temporarily. (Michael Porter/Flickr/Creative Commons License BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Fighting stress with sugar. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

When you’re under stress, you might reach for a sweet; new research may explain why. University of California researchers gave women volunteers beverages sweetened with either sugar or artificial sweetener. Then they conducted brain scans and measured the volunteers’ levels of stress hormones while they underwent stressful activities. UC Davis research nutritionist Kevin Laugero says that those who consumed sugar showed reduced stress.

KEVIN LAUGERO (University of California, Davis):

In the short term, consuming foods high in sugar might have some beneficial effects. But over the long term this could possibly lead to a metabolic dysfunction.

HIRSHON:

And he said the everyday consumption of sugary foods and beverages to combat stress would result in a diet low in nutrition and high in calories. The study appears in the Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism. I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.