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Watch: Why Are Americans Addicted to Sugar?

Is it a drug?

Americans eat way too much sugar. The American Heart Association recommends no more than six to nine teaspoons of added sugar per day for adults. Instead, United States residents consume an average of 19.5 teaspoons per day, which translates to 66 pounds per year. Why do we inhale so much sugar on a daily basis? This video from It's Okay to be Smart attempts to explain.

Host Joe Hanson notes that in addition to typical sweet comestibles, many unexpected, savory food items contain sugar. This constant intake triggers spiked dopamine levels in the human brain, which results in cravings for even more sugar. That's also known as addiction; some scientists want sugar to be classified as a drug.

"Sugar kicks off chain reactions in our brains that make us feel good, but if we enjoy it too much, we can forget how to say no," Hanson says in the video. "Nobody wants to make doughnuts a controlled substance, but just remember, a little self-control can feel pretty good too."

Is Sugar a Drug? [YouTube]

All Video Interludes [E]