Evaluating Database Sources

The mesolimbic system and eating addiction: what sugar does and does not do


In the article “The mesolimbic system and eating addiction: what sugar does and does not do," high sugar consumption results in diseases such as obesity (De Jong et al. 118).Specifically, the authors note that excess sugar results from sugar additives to foods. Added sugar contains both sucrose and fructose in high quantities. However, the disordered eating behaviors of foods with sugar additives often result in significant health issues such as obesity. The authors also emphasize the addiction effects of dopamine released when people consume foods with high sugar content. The sucrose mainly releases the dopamine in the added sugar. Moreover, the authors suggest that increased sugar intake induces plasticity changes to the human body which is similar to drug-induced changes due to the addiction property of sugar. The researchers use rodents to investigate the effects of “binge” on the human body. The rodents choose foods with a high sugar content in repeated trials proving sugar to contain addictive properties. They show the effects of long-term high sugar consumption such as inhibition of metabolism which results in many sugar related disorders (De Jong et al. 118). Also, the authors explain the short term impacts of excess sugar consumption on the brain as well as long term effects (De Jong et al. 118). The excessive consumption of foods with added sugar results in more calories than the body needs. The excess calories are stored within the body as fatty tissue which leads to weight gain mostly among the children and teenagers. The excess fats in the body cause the development of other conditions such as obesity and diabetes. When the fats are stored in tissues near the liver, they create insulin resistance which may cause cirrhosis and lead to the development of type 2 diabetes. Additionally, obesity exposes individuals to heart diseases due to fat accumulation around the heart tissues. However, the insulin resistance leads to inhibition of metabolism leading to increased heart rate and blood pressure which could also result in cardiac arrest. The continuous use of sweetened foods is associated with the addictive properties of sugar. The sugar has a direct effect on the dopamine system, which has a long term addiction effect on the consumer.

Part 1: Analyze each article and then answer questions 1-8below.

  1. Source. Even if you locate information in a database, the articles can still be from newspapers or periodicals. Is this article from a newspaper or periodical? Is it a peer-reviewed journal article?

The article is from a periodical. It is a peer-reviewed journal article and therefore a credible source for use in research.

  1. Author. Who is the author? What qualifications does the author possess? (research this on the internet) Is the author authority in his or her field? Have they published extensively on this topic? Are they affiliated with a reputable university or institution?

The article was written by Johannes De Jong, Louk Vanderschuren and Roger Adan. Likewise, Johannes W De Jong has a Ph.D. in biological sciences and works in the University of California. Louk JMJ Vanderschuren works in the department of veterinary medicine in the Utrecht University. On the other hand, Roger AH Adan is a neurosurgeon but currently works in the department of neuroscience at the University Medical Center Utrecht. All these authors have published several works on the topic of dietary. Ideally, they all hold senior positions in the departments which gives them authority in the field of nutrition.

  1. Timeliness. When this site was first published online? When it was last updated? Are its argument and information still timely?

The online publication of the article was in June 2016. However, it has not been updated since publication. The arguments and information in the article are still valid today.

  1. Evidence. Where does the author’s evidence come from? Does the evidence adequately support the author’s claims?

The evidence provided by the authors comes from books and scholarly articles. The evidence adequately supports the authors’ claimsthat sugar has adverse effects on the body. Similarly, the evidence also supports the claim that sugar is addictive. The experiments with rodents support the addiction argument.

  1. Bias. Can you detect particular biases of the author? How do the author’s biases affect his or her arguments and conclusions?

The authors are biased towards sugar consumption causing an addiction. The bias leads to the conclusion that too much sugar leads to the deterioration of brain cells. Moreover, the author’s bias leads to the conclusion that sugar is addictive based on the behavior of the rodents used in the experiment.

  1. References. Are references provided for information given on the site? If so, who considers these references reputable?

The authors have provided references for information obtained from other sources. Most of the sources are books and peer-reviewed scholarly articles which are considered reputable by the American Psychological Association.

  1. Links. Are there links to additional information? Do the links work? Is the linked information reliable? Do these links offer further insight into the author’s biases?

The article contains links to sites which have additional information to the topic under discussion.

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