Have a sweet tooth? If you crave sugar, that’s because your mind and body have been trained to crave it. Sugar is addictive. Some studies have suggested that sugar is as addictive as cocaine.

Sugar releases endorphins in the body and combines with other chemicals in the body, resulting in a surge of energy. People who suffer from constant tiredness may thus reach for carb-rich sugary foods for a boost. Consuming sugar often feels good because it releases dopamine (the feel-good neurochemical in your brain’s reward centre). More dopamine could mean more cravings.

Once someone mentally connects sugar with help providing energy, they may become dependent on it (usually inadvertently), says the Addiction Center in the US which helps people with substance use disorders. People may begin to crave sugar to balance irritability, emotional lows, and other conditions. At this point there is often little control over dietary habits, and a sugar addiction has developed.

Due to the addictive nature of sugar, overindulgence in this substance can lead to long-term health effects like obesity and diabetes. “Similar to other compulsions or behavioural addictions, sugar addiction is a special risk for people with low moods, anxiety, and stress,” says the center in an article in its web guide.

The picture shows how we develop a sugar addiction.