Book Review: Sugarettes
Stacie Deyglio, ND
Sugarettes, the title of Dr. Olson’s new book, is more than just a pun on the words sugar and cigarettes. It is a comparative analysis of how similar the addictive qualities of those components are to human physiology. In fact, the content of the book succeeds in moving beyond this comparison to set down a clear path of scientific understanding for how silent the sugar addiction is as well as how sugar is a more destructive addiction than cigarettes.
As Dr. Olson writes: “Have you ever wondered why so many foods contain sugar? Addiction is a powerful way to sell a product. Cigarette manufacturers have proven this is a strategy that works. But while cigarette companies have been held responsible for adding addictive substances to their cigarettes to ensure that you are a customer for life, food companies have been doing the same thing for decades and getting away with it” (p.1).
Dr. Olson’s book presents information about sugar addiction via a multifaceted approach. The book contains ten main chapters, consisting of the following: an Introduction, The History of Your Dinner, Let’s Talk Carbs, Sugar Magnet, Sugar Meets Body, Foods that Act Like Sugar, Artificial Sweeteners, Sugar-Disease Connection, Surviving in Carbo-Land and Afterward. Despite the witticism of the chapter designations, the contents contain valuable scientific support for Dr. Olson’s findings: “What the sugar industry fails to point out is that there are no studies that show the opposite: That sugar is not addictive. Every time sugar is tested, it has been shown to be addictive” (p. 60).
The ten-page chapter called The History of Your Dinner has significance, as it is a positive way of presenting the historical chronicle of food from about 10,000 years ago until today. The chapters from Sugar Magnet to the end of the book clarify current scientific information in a way that the lay, non-science person may adequately understand. These chapters contain sufficient scientific validation and references, and also serve as a refresher for any medical or scientifically minded individual.
Sugarettes is a book that supports both the naturopathic principle of Docere as well as Praevenire. By providing a rich foundation of education in sugar biochemistry and human physiology, Dr. Olson’s book encourages self-responsibility and conscious awareness for individual health. Building on this foundation, Dr. Olson’s book also emphasizes disease prevention so that clinicians and patients alike may make appropriate and common sense interventions to avert illness.
Stacie Deyglio, ND received her baccalaureate degree in biology with a minor in chemistry from the College of Mt. St. Vincent in New York. Her personal health issues paved the way to discovering naturopathic medicine in 1999. Resonating with the philosophy and principles of naturopathic medicine, Dr. Deyglio graduated from the University of Bridgeport, College of Naturopathic Medicine in 2003. As a medical student, she was involved in student government, fundraising and the generation of two successful student-run health fairs. Dr. Deyglio’s interests include relating integrative therapeutics to the health of pediatric and geriatric populations. Currently residing in Phoenix, Dr. Deyglio is an avid bookworm, and is actively creating her practice.