tv Vital Signs with Dr. Sanjay Gupta CNN March 12, 2016 11:30am-12:01pm PST
obsessive cravings and total loss of control. whether it's from a substance or a behavior, addiction is a disease. this is "vital signs." i'm dr. sanjay gupta. today we're going to focus on behavioral addictions. one of the most well known is gambling. it's not necessarily the active gambling that's addictive but the way it feels. when the brain perceives a situation as stressful or exciting like gambling it sends a signal to the adrenal gland. the gland releases adrenalin, a stress hormone causing a spike
in blood pressure and faster heart rate. many addicted gamblers describe that rush when they place a bet or play a slot machine and when it comes to gambling, you might be surprised at the country that tops the list. meet kate. she's a loving wife, and a devoted mother to her six children. now get ready to toss out any stereotypes you might have had an gambling addict, people say to me you don't look like a mother of six. they were equally shocked when i said i had a 12-year gambling problem. >> reporter: kate lives in southeast australia. the country with the highest rate of gambling in the world. she started gambling when she was a teenager. by the time she was 18, kate spent her monthly wage in just one day. >> once i had that first rush on a poker machine, it just did something to me brain. looking back now. i was just -- pushing money into
it like i was pushing paper through a shredder. >> australians are actually the biggest gamblers in the world. we lose around $1,100 per person per year compared to less than $600 in the u.s. and less than $500 in canada and britain. >> reporter: sail gainsbury is a psychologist in sydney who studied gambling. she says in australia there are 197,000 electronic poker machines or pokeies. you don't need to go to a casino to find them, either. they're in neighborhood bars and clubs making it harder to escape them. >> very easy to play, which makes them very accessible. put money in and press a button. you're unlikely to win the jock patt b pott but slow wins along the way that encourage you to keep betting even though in the long run you are losing. >> i connected with the machine. >> reporter: kate got married
and start add family. all while hiding the seriousness of her gambling addiction. 12 years of her life controlled by this disease. during that time, kate estimates she lost well over half a million dollars. >> there were several times during that 12 years that i tried to get help. i guess not knowing who to turn to. feeling like i was such a failure. i felt -- by the end, that i was profoundly broken and i didn't think there was any possible recovery. >> reporter: kate reached out for help with the support of her husband. >> i tried -- to get help before, and it hadn't worked, but this time, this counselor, she saw straightaway that my self-esteem was destroyed. the counselor said to me, i want
you to name ten things that you like about yourself, and i just burst into tears, and said, can i list my children individually? and she said, no. you have to tell me ten things that you like about you. and it took me a week. and i still have that list. >> one of the challenges with problem gambling is unlike drug and alcohol addiction is you can't see it, you can't smell it. >> reporter: kate roberts is the executive officer of the gambling impact society. for the past year and a half, she's also been helping kate share her story. to help others. >> the whole concept is the time on machine, there's a lot of design features now to envelope you into this world, and people are not aware of that, and more importantly, there's a massive industry that is depending and building itself around that, and we need to get away from the idea that these are flawed
people. what we actually have is a flawed product, and a case of regulatory failure. >> reporter: the australian government estimates the cost of problem gambling to the country's public is $4.7 billion a year. the government has pledged $25 million to support programs for addicted gamblers. but they also collect roughly 10% of their tax revenue from gambling. >> if it's going to be recreational make it recreational. i don't believe a product that takes $1,200 an hour off of is a recreational product. >> reporter: at part of her own recovery, kate started the hope project, and she still has the original list of ten things she's proud of about herself. it's a reminder of just how far she's come. and what she's doing now to help millions of others just like her around the world. >> i want people to understand
that we're human beings, and when did we loose sight of that? i really never thought i'd get to the point where i'd be thankful for the journey, but i am. i'm -- i wouldn't swap it. >> reporter: kate gambled on the electronic poker machines but online gambling is now posing a new challenge for programs like the gambling impact society. and as technology increases in all aspects of our lives, it's becoming a behavioral addiction, all on its own.
legalzoom has your back. for your business, our trusted network of attorneys has provided guidance to over 100,000 people just like you. visit legalzoom today. the legal help you can count on. legalzoom. legal help is here. you may know what it's like to deal with high... and low blood sugar. januvia (sitagliptin) is a once-daily pill that, along with diet and exercise, helps lower blood sugar.
januvia works when your blood sugar is high and works less when your blood sugar is low, because it works by enhancing your body's own ability to lower blood sugar. plus januvia, by itself, is not likely to cause weight gain or low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). januvia should not be used in patients with type 1 diabetes or diabetic ketoacidosis. tell your doctor if you have a history of pancreatitis. serious side effects can happen, including pancreatitis which may be severe and lead to death. stop taking januvia and call your doctor right away if you have severe pain in your stomach area which may be pancreatitis. tell your doctor right away and stop taking januvia if you have an allergic reaction that causes swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat, or affects your breathing or causes rash or hives. kidney problems sometimes requiring dialysis have been reported. some people may develop severe joint pain. call your doctor if this happens. using januvia with a sulfonylurea or insulin may cause low blood sugar. to reduce the risk, your doctor may prescribe a lower dose of the sulfonylurea or insulin. your doctor may do blood tests before and during treatment to check your kidneys.
thinking of all the technology advances just in the last decade, our phones and tablets, powerful computers, almost always with us. kids know how to use them from younger ages and video games more evident than ever. maybe it's not surprise technology and gaming addiction are combining to form a serious problem. some researchers show here in the united states as many as 3 million children are addicted to video games. the manual on mental health disorders in america includes internet gaming disorder as a condition warranting more clinical research. it's an important first step when it comes to taking gaming addiction seriously. >> scientifically documented real effects. so if they're on this side, means doing it, you see less -- >> reporter: a chilly day on the campus of iowa state university, in room 225, professor douglas gent teele addresses his graduate students. >> that's led people to believe maybe only certain time types of
people are vulnerable. >> reporter: they are here to study how media affects behave are and the impact of technology and video games. genteel is one of the world's leading researchers on video games, and all that can come with them, including addiction. >> even back in the 1990s, parents were talking about their kids being addicted to games, and i thought, that can't be true. i thought, all thf mean is, my kid spends a lot of time playing and i don't understand why. and it turns out i was wrong. >> reporter: genteel's research shows roughly 5.8% of kids gaming in united states show signs of addiction. across the world, he found similar numbers. >> one of the things we know that is a risk factor for addiction is access. so with greater access, we're going to see the problem probably increasing. how do we deal with that? >> reporter: in southern
california, addiction to this virtual world is a reality for noel's family. her 16-year-old son griffin was in treatment for internet gaming disorder. he didn't want to be interviewed on camera but told his mother she could speak to us about their experience. >> griffin is very sweet, a very sweet boy. he's quite introverted. he is quiet. on the shy side. >> reporter: when he was still a child, griffin's parents divorced. his mom says he suffered from depression and anxiety. around age 10 he started playing video games. >> griffin is bright, quick to learn things so he did take quickly to it, and he became good. he's good at it. he's good at the gaming. >> reporter: sometimes parents what to know why are games so compelling to kids. what are is it that is drawing them? there's a theory of intrinsic motivation. what makes us excited to do something on our own called self-determination theory. basically it's an abc of human
needs. the a is autonomy. we like to feel we're in control. the b is belongingness. we like to feel like we're connected to other people and the c is competence. we like to feel that we're good at what we do. well, games are fantastic at all three of these. there's nothing wrong with that initially but over time it can start to get out of balance. >> reporter: over time, griffin's parents note add shift in that balance, and changes in his behavior. >> the isolation. the wanting to be with, playing more, so then that takes away from family time, it takes away from socializing with his friends. >> reporter: this past summer, griffin's parents sent him for treatment. they found a program called outback therapeutic expeditions in utah. griffin would spend times outdoors unplugged from technology and away from his games. >> i felt very strongly about him going, that we had no other options our hands were tied. so i was like you know what?
we're doing this for you because we love you and we care about you and we recognize you need have help. >> reporter: griffin spent six weeks in treatment, and returned home. his mom says he still has challenges with his tech use, and his depression. >> it is a battle. it is so hard. because when i look back with griffin, i was the dealer. i was -- mom, there's this new game kamt oucame out. my friends all have it, i was like, sure, because he is a good kid. >> reporter: shortly after our interview with noel griffin sent an e-mail awanted to help anyone struggling like him. griffin wrote i want others to realize the problems they're facing aren't due to things around them and due to the fact they stay inside and won't speak to anyone. >> parents feel helpless but when you set your limits on how
much time and what types of media your children can use, it actually has a powerful ripple effect out into the future across a wide range of health and wellness benefits. rmpt s >> reporter: setting limits can work, if you know what you're looking for. what happens when the source of the addiction is hiding where you least expect it? next, what we can all learn to protect ourselves from food. can a business have a mind? a subconscious. a knack for predicting the future. reflexes faster than the speed of thought. can a business have a spirit? can a business have a soul? can a business be...alive?
it is hard to combat an addiction when the temp angs ta are all around you. like technology, food addicts struggle with overwhelming access and as more a and more processed foods enter ow ditsz, sugar consumption is on the rise. we may not think of it as addictive substances like drugs, sugar fires off the same reward
centers in the brain as cocaine. unlike co-cairn we actually do need some sugar in our bodies broken down into energy for our cells. the issue we're eating too much of it and it can be hard to cut back especially when hiding in foods you'd never think of. so this is a pretty standard grocery aisle. tell me where your eyes go? >> reporter: lisa is a nutritionist and a best-selling author. we've come to the best place we could think of to talk about sugar. a typical american grocery store. >> everywhere you look there's sugars. again, not in the places you'd necessarily expect it. spaghetti sauce. where what would we find here? >> exactly. tomato sauce, a half cup, one serving har serving, has 12 gram of sugar. >> this isn't even sweet. >> reporter: the american heart association has set daily recommendations for sugar comp
assumption. for women, know more than six tai spoons a day. one teaspoon is four grams of sugar meaning roughly 24 grams of sugar in day. men get a bit more. nine teaspoons or 36 grams but on average, we're exceeding those numbers, big time. here in the united states, the average adult eats 22 teaspoons of sugar a day. >> i think it's striking to me that a lot of people think they're doing the right thing, they're led to believe i'm eating healthy but in fact they're not. what are some of those misconceptions? >> i think a lot of people that think just because something is natural it's healthy. so, for example, you know, honey is natural, but it's very caloric and many people might know know a teaspoon of honey or agave for that matter has more calories than a teaspoon of sugar or sue cross- >> speaking of misconceptions. it is remarkable, even i am stunned and i studied this but i'm stunned what you think
you're eating and what you're really eating. talk me through some of this. >> sure. here we have a quarter cup of dried cranberries. >> perfectly healthy and good for you. >> exactly. toss it on your salad, combine it with nuts. in fact, it contains the same amount of sugar as a quarter cup of candy. who would think that a quarter cup of each would have the same amounts? >> i mean, again that is remarkable and to take it a step further you put that on a salad. >> right. >> you wouldn't put this on a salad, but you're essentially doing the same thing. >> essentially. when you think about sugar being sugar. that being said, dried cranberries offer antioxidants which candy does not. i just want to show you, this is actually the amount of sugar. in one can of soda. it's one 12-ounce can. so -- you pretty much -- maxed out on your sugar intake for the entire
day. >> reporter: sugar is hiding in many of our foods and their natural and additive. natural sugars found in foods like fruit and milk. added sugars included during processing or preparation, but are really empty calories that don't offer any nutritional benefits. there's also artificial sweeteners. decoding the knlabel can help. that's easier said than done. the label doesn't distinguish between added and natural sugars but the fda is currently considering a proposal to change that. >> however, the sugar association in the u.s. disagrees with the proposal saying the fda has not "provided evidence that added sugars labeling is necessary to assist consumers in maintaining healthy dietary practices." according to the sugar association, sugar as in sue
cross-not i fructose corn syrup or other sweeteners is part of the healthy diet when consumed in moderation. so salads what could be wrong with salads and salad dressing? >> we think of salads as healthy and a a fat-free salad dressing as very healthy. right? >> yes. doing it to help take care of your body and heart. >> exactly. save calories and fat. when we look here we see one serving or two tablespoons has 10 grams of sugar. so that's or two two tablespoons. talking about a ladle that would be double the amount or 20 grams of sugar. >> so 20 grams of fat-free salad dressing. i mean, and in two servings you get 20 grams. >> that's right. 20 grams. that's actually -- >> like a doughnut. >> that's right. than four mini doughnuts. they have 17 grams of sugar. >> you're supposed to be doing the right thing here. fat-free salad dressing.
people might they doesn't even taste good. i'm punishing myself eating this and doing something good for myself, but they're not. >> this we expect, this we don't. >> that's the crucial point. yeah. >> reporter: too many sugar calories leads to weight gain and obesitobesity. straining the heart and raising your risk for a stroke or illness like diabetes. but there's more at play here than just your sweet tooth. you might be craving sugar, because it's been shown to be addictive. >> it seems to induce cravings and hunger that are comparable in magnitude to those induced by addicted drugs. does that mean it's addicted? maybe. i think one of the telltale signs is a loss of control. so if you feel like you can't stop eating the cookies, you have to finish the wheole box, can't stop at one or two you're obsessing how you'll get your sugar fix and can't focus on anything else, you have a psychological dependence, then i think you're probably talking about food addiction.
>> are there other tips to cut down on sugar consumption? >> look at the ingredients list if sugar or one one of a bunch of terms are listed highen 0 the label, avoid that food. talking corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup and anything ending in o-s, e, the code words for sugar. >> here's something i think will astonish -- ah, i did barely lift this. >> 25 pounds of sugar. >> 25 pounds of sugar. >> right. >> and now i will tell you, and it would be still alarming, if i told you you ate this much in a year, but that's not even the case. >> that's not even the case. not only are we eating this much but we're eating a lot more. we're eating five times this amount of sugar. so that's more than some people --'s body twhagt i know. that's a lot of sugar. >> reporter: whether it's food,
gambling technology or any other behavioral addiction it's more than just will. it's a medical diagnose and there is a thin line between doing something a lot and being addicted, even psychologists doan have a consensus on just yet but the keys are awareness of the warning signs and acceptance of the possibility it's an addiction. don't let the stigma of the word addiction hold you back from getting help. for "vital signs," i'm dr. sanjay gupta.
during the lexus command performance sales event... [sportscaster vo] there's always a cause for celebration. [sportscaster vo] with extraordinary offers on our most powerful performance line ever. including the exhilarating is... the thrilling gs... and the powerful rc coupe. [sportscaster vo] because thrills like this... only happen during the command performance sales event. this is the pursuit of perfection.
top of the hour. 3:00 p.m. eastern. i'm poppy harlow in new york. glad you're wir us. republican front-runner donald trump just wrapped up a ralliry thousands of supporters three days before the crucial winner take all ohio primary. he slammed rival john kasich, ohio's governor for supporting free trade deals and earlier trump blasted what he call as planned attack in chicago last night. you certainly heard about that. trump claims his supporters were taunted and harassed and blames backers of democrat bernie sanders calling sanders "our communist friend." the chicago event was cancelled after chaos erupted. prior to