My Observations….work life with a sugar addict

Posted: June 17, 2013 in Healthy Eating
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As many of us know, we see the people quite a bit, and during some weeks (the ones that suck the most), we see them more than our own families. We are exposed to lifestyles that are sometimes foreign from our own, and observe people participate in life in a variety of ways.

I want to start by stating that addiction is a serious matter and this post in no way attempts to satirize or make light of that fact. Also, sugar addiction has a large amount of science behind it. In fact, recent studies involving lab animals showed that the animals that were addicted to both cocaine and sugar, eventually ended up selecting sugar at a ratio of roughly 8 to 1. Body chemistry plays into this as well. The body becomes used to consuming sugar at various points in the day and craving are hereby created. This is all outside of the mental feeling that sugar is a comforting way to handle stress for the person who relies upon it.

I work with a woman who is two year older than me, and we get along fairly well as co-workers. Unfortunately, this woman is afflicted with one of the most severe cases of sugar addiction that I have ever seen. From the moment she walks in, until the second she leaves, a majority of her free time is consumed with where she will get her next fix. Often, she begin the day (after making tea with 2 tablespoons of honey and two packets of sugar), by attempting to recruit reluctant companions for some type of sweetness-related excursion during lunch time. In most cases, people have either brought their lunch, or have something else planned, and just blow her off. There are rare times when she finds someone to go along with this and thus hounds them in the following weeks to go with her for pizza and Italian ices, or half price day at Carvel. She usually ends up making the trip alone.

What amazes me the most about this person, and I think what highlights the addiction portion of her personality is the switch that appears to go off when she hears that there are sweets available at the current moment. If she is engaged in work that must be completed and I am off, she will relentlessly badger me to go into the staff room and immediately retrieve these items. I just shrug and say I’m not into that stuff, so wait it out. She becomes fully consumed by the possibility of eating sugar. Her focus on the task is gone, her mannerisms change, and she begins to show signs of facial agitation at the fact I (or anyone else who has work to do) will not assist her.

Her next move is in one direction, take a guess where it is. I have tried to nicely talk to her about what might be in store for someone who has this kind of obsession, but I realize that the problem goes far beyond just wanting to eat sweet food. Sadly, she is creating the same fix in her child who “gets something sweet everyday at around 4pm, and also before bed.” I also hear tales of how the poor kid is fed doughnuts or pancakes with brown sugar and syrup each morning. This is going to start a pattern that won’t be kind later on.

I want to help this person, but I am not qualified enough to provide her with the assistance she needs. It isn’t my place to judge anyone here. She is a very nice person who has something she can’t seem to work around at this point in life. Have you ever met anyone who may be addicted to sugar? Let us know in the comments section. Take care, be fit, and be well.


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