I do admit I like my sugar. There are compelling arguments for it’s negative effects on human health as demonstrated by Robert Lustig in the early 1970s in his book, Pure, White and Deadly. On the counter, I have also embraced the arguments of Roy Baumeister of Florida State University’s Psychology department.
Through years of experimentation, he observed a correlation between available blood glucose and human performance as he seeks to quantify the mental trait of willpower. While countless self-help authors have focused on spiritual approaches, his are scientific approaches backed by carefully administered experiments.
For willpower, in my opinion, he wrote the authoritative text on on the subject with his book Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength. Like most armchair psychology books, 90% of the info was stuff that my grandmother taught me. The other 10% paid it self over many times and has led this book to be gifted to numerous friends and colleagues.
His hypotheses was based on over half the blood glucose, being consumed by the brain, would have an effect on a person’s ability to not only control impulses of habit or indulgence, but also provide mental endurance to continue with arduous or mentally challenging tasks. His experimentation techniques varied across different scenarios and national datasets, but the most compelling was students performing never-ending adaptive computerized math testing with two groups that differ in the presence of sweets. The group with the sweets did perform longer and stronger than the control group. Diabetics however, were found to not fare so well and national crime data supports this suspicion. Diabetics are more likely to be convicted for crimes of impulse on a national scale, likely due to uncontrolled metabolism of blood glucose.
The outcome of this book brought about a change in my workplace. Seeking to improve performance, I stocked my office and a multi-purpose meeting and classroom with wicker baskets piled high of candies of various sorts. In my method, I steered clear of chocolate due to the hedonistic eating leaving me with an empty basket in the course of two hours. Hard sugar candy had a much more regulated consumption.
Yes, they loved it and I achieved a saintly status for implementing this. Rooted in science I knew that it made a benefit even though it was practically impossible to measure with such a small population size. In workspaces I frequent, thinking smarter is better. Just be sure to lay off the chocolate.