ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – Most people genuinely enjoy a nice bowl of ice cream, whether it be after a meal or sitting on the couch watching a movie. But, what you may not have known is that studies have been released that say ice cream may be as addictive as nicotine or cocaine and can be even more addictive than heroin.

Dr. Richard Terry, LECOM Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, explained that sugar acts the same as cocaine and heroin. When you eat sugar, your brain releases dopamine, which makes your brain experience pleasure, the same pleasing feeling that can occur while doing drugs.

“Well, it stimulates the same pathways in the brain with dopamine release, and that is what drives that addiction is the release of dopamine which drives that pleasure.” said Dr. Terry. “Basically, it induces pleasure in our brain and in our bodies, so, sugar does that for many people and it certainly can be addictive,” said Dr. Terry.

Dr. Terry also mentioned that just like drugs can kill you, ice cream, and more specifically sugar, can kill you too. This would take longer than it would with drugs, but eating too much sugar can lead to obesity and eventually even death, it would just take longer.

“It’s not as bad, of course. Methamphetamine addiction, opioid addiction and all of that leads to death,” said Dr. Terry. “Sugar addiction does lead to death, but not immediately. It’s a slow death. You become obese and you die of complications and comorbidities from being overweight.”

Dr. Terry is releasing a book soon that discusses different eating habits, but he does believe that a little sugar now and then won’t hurt you.