纽约时报双语:我为什么决定戒掉健怡可乐

我为什么决定戒掉健怡可乐
I Was Powerless Over Diet Coke
ABBY ELLIN
2021年10月18日
纽约时报双语:我为什么决定戒掉健怡可乐

After I discovered Diet Coke in 1982, I drank at least three to four 12-ounce cans nearly every day for the next four decades, no matter where in the world I was.

我在1982年知道有健怡可乐这个东西后,接下来的40年里,无论身在世界何处,那种355毫升一罐的可乐,我几乎每天都要来上个三四罐,甚至不止。

I was the person who avoided certain airlines because they only served Pepsi. Who bought out an entire store’s inventory in New Delhi because she feared she might not encounter another soda in the rest of the country. Who stashed cans in her room when she visited her parents, like an 18-year-old with a bong, except she was in her 40s.

我是那种会因为飞机上只供应百事可乐而避开某些航司的人。会在新德里买下整个商店的可口可乐库存,因为担心在这个国家的其他地方可能买不到这种汽水。在看望父母的时候,会把易拉罐藏在房间里,就像一个18岁的人把水烟枪藏起,只是这人现在已经40多岁了。

At various times I tried to stop, but I could never deprive myself for longer than a week. As a non-coffee drinker, it was my morning beverage. Kombucha, La Croix, Zevia? Nothing satisfied my cravings. And let’s be clear: Caffeine-free soda is pointless.

有好几次我试图戒掉这种饮料,但每次都没能超过一周。作为一个不喝咖啡的人,可乐就是我早间饮料。康普茶?十字架牌汽水?有机饮料泽维亚?它们通通不是我的菜。让我们把话说清楚:不含咖啡因的汽水根本不值得喝。

I loved my fully loaded D.C., and only in the silver-and-red can, so I could hear that Pavlovian pop when I cracked it open. No plastic bottles, fountain soda or diet coke cake. (Yes, it’s a thing.) I drank with vigor until earlier this year, when two things happened almost simultaneously. The left side of my abdomen had been throbbing for months, but doctors were unable to figure out the problem. CT scans, ultrasounds and a colonoscopy turned up nothing. At around the same time, I began noticing that my beloved brew was starting to taste like I imagine a Tide pod would. There was a malignant aftertaste I’d never noticed before; I could imagine the chemicals swirling around in my stomach, targeting my insides. I wondered: Could there be a link?

我超爱“恶贯满盈”的健怡可乐,而且一定是要装在银色和红色相间的易拉罐里,当我打开它的时候,能听到它条件反射似的发出砰的一声。塑料瓶不行,杯装汽水不行,健怡可乐蛋糕也不行(是的,真有这玩意儿)。我一直大喝特喝,直到今年早些时候,几乎同时发生了两件事情。我的左腹部已经抽痛了数月时间,但医生一直找不到原因。CT扫描也做了,超声波和肠镜检查也没有发现什么。大约在同一时间,我开始注意到我珍爱的饮料尝起来就像——我觉得汰渍洗衣球应该就是那个味道。而且,还有一种恶心的余味,是我以前从未留意的;我能够想像化学物质瞄准我的内脏,在我肚子里打转的样子。我暗自思忖:这跟我喝可乐之间是不是有什么关联?

In late June, after polishing off my second can of the day, pains shot across my stomach, and that was my last soda. Just like that, I was done, after 39 years. Why did it take so long? Was I truly physically dependent, or was it simply a bad habit?

6月下旬的某天,在我喝完当天第二罐可乐后,肚子疼得翻江倒海,那是我喝的最后一罐汽水。就这样,39年过去了,我喝够了。为什么要这么久?究竟是身体少不了它,还是这只是我的一个坏习惯?

Can a soft drink be addictive?

软饮会让人上瘾吗?

The American Psychiatric Association, which publishes the DSM-5, the diagnostic manual of mental disorders, categorizes all “addictions” — to alcohol, drugs, gambling, even paint thinner — under Substance Related and Addictive Disorders. Diet Coke is not mentioned; caffeine use disorder falls under the section “requiring further research.”

出版DSM-5(精神障碍诊断手册)的美国精神病学协会(American Psychiatric Association)将所有的“瘾”(酒精、毒品、赌博,甚至油漆稀释剂)都归为物质相关及成瘾障碍症。该手册没有提到健怡可乐;咖啡因使用障碍属于“需要进一步研究”的部分。

Artificial sweeteners are nowhere to be found either. But in a 2007 study where laboratory rats were forced to choose between saccharin and cocaine, 94 percent of them chose the noncaloric sweetener — even if they had showed signs of dependence on the cocaine.

手册里也没有提到人工甜味剂。但在2007年的一项研究中,实验室老鼠被迫在糖精和可卡因之间做出选择,其中94%的老鼠选择了无热量的甜味剂——即使它们已经表现出对可卡因的依赖迹象。

The 1,100 members of the Facebook group Diet Soda Coke Drinkers Who WANT to Quit understand this.

在Facebook上,“想戒掉健怡可乐的人”小组的1100名成员都明白这一点。

Steven Walsh quit smoking 17 years ago. “That was easier than giving up Diet Coke,” said Mr. Walsh, 38, an unemployed furniture mover in Kilkenny, Ireland. He went cold turkey two weeks ago and suffered terrible headaches, along with feeling irritable and tired. “It was very tough,” he said. Aspirin helped the pain, and to occupy his mind he went for long walks and read books.

史蒂文·沃尔什(Steven Walsh)是在17年前戒的烟。“比戒掉健怡可乐容易多了,”38岁的沃尔什说。他是爱尔兰基尔肯尼一名失业的家具搬运工。两周前,他开始戒可乐,之后头疼得厉害,还感到烦躁和疲倦。“非常困难,”他说。阿司匹林缓解疼痛,为了消磨时间,他就出去长时间散步、看书。

These are classic signs of addiction, said Ashley Gearhardt, an associate professor in the department of psychology at the University of Michigan and the director of the school’s Food and Addiction Science and Treatment Lab. “People lose control over it. They consume it even though they know they should stop. They’re having compulsive behaviors. They go through withdrawal when it gets removed.”

密歇根大学(University of Michigan)心理学系副教授、该校食品与成瘾科学与治疗实验室(Food and Addiction Science and Treatment Lab)主任阿什利·吉尔哈特(Ashley Gearhardt)说,这些都是成瘾的典型迹象。“人们失去了对它的控制。即使知道不该再喝,他们还是会喝。他们有强迫行为。当它被拿走,他们会出现戒断症状。”

She added: “If Diet Coke — or any diet soda — was a new pharmaceutical product and we were testing it for whether people are getting addicted to it, we would be very concerned.”

她还说:“假如健怡可乐——或任何低卡汽水——是一种新的药品,并且我们正在测试人们是否对它上瘾的话,我们会非常担心。”

None of this is especially surprising. Large food companies have spent billions ensuring that we crave more junk food, said Pamela Peeke, an assistant professor at the University of Maryland and author of “The Hunger Fix.”

这些都不算很意外。马里兰大学(University of Maryland)助理教授、《终结暴食》(The Hunger Fix)一书的作者帕梅拉·皮克(Pamela Peeke)说,大食品公司已经花费了数十亿美元来确保我们渴望更多的垃圾食品。

Molly Carmel quit Diet Coke over a decade ago, but there was a time she guzzled at least six 12-ounce cans a day. For her, the attraction was physical and emotional. “It was a haven as a fat kid who wanted to be like the other kids — I could have soda even though I couldn’t spare the calories,” said Ms. Carmel, a licensed clinical social worker and founder of Beacon by MC, a program that helps people stop their destructive relationships with food and dieting. Ten years later, she still longs for it.

莫莉·卡梅尔(Molly Carmel)十多年前戒掉了健怡可乐,但她曾经有一段时间每天至少要喝六罐355毫升装的可乐。对她来说,它的吸引力既有身体上的,也有情绪上的。“这是胖孩子的避风港,胖孩子也想像其他孩子一样——即使我不能再摄入更多卡路里,我也可以喝苏打水,”卡梅尔说,她是一名持牌临床社工,也是Beacon by MC的创始人,该计划帮助人们停止与食物和节食的破坏性关系。十年后,她仍然渴望可乐。

What makes it so hard to quit?

是什么让戒断如此困难?

Dr. Gearhardt points to two culprits: aspartame and caffeine. Or, to be more precise: addiction to sweetness and to caffeine. Individually, they’re bad; together, they’re an addict’s nightmare.

吉尔哈特指出了两个罪魁祸首:阿斯巴甜和咖啡因。或者,更准确地说:对甜味和咖啡因这两种东西上瘾。它们本身都已经很糟糕,将它们合在一起更是瘾君子的噩梦。

A 12-ounce can of regular Coke has 34 milligrams of caffeine, whereas Diet Coke has 11 milligrams more, according to Coca-Cola. (An 8-ounce cup of coffee has about 95 mg.) Artificial sweeteners activate the brain’s reward system, but only about half as much as regular sugar, said Dr. Peeke. Faux sugar doesn’t pack the same wallop as the real stuff, so it keeps you wanting more and more.

根据可口可乐公司的说法,一罐355毫升的普通可乐含有34毫克的咖啡因,而健怡可乐则含有11毫克的咖啡因。(一杯237毫升的咖啡大约含有95毫克。)皮克说,人造甜味剂可以激活大脑的奖励系统,但程度只有普通糖的一半左右。人造糖的奖励刺激不如真糖来得猛,因此你会越来越想要它。

Not only is this tied to weight gain, especially in the belly, but it also leaves you with cravings. Aspartame is 200 times sweeter than table sugar. Serious drinkers are so used to the super-sweet taste that everything else seems bland in comparison.

这不仅与体重增加有关,尤其是肚子上的肉,而且还会让你产生渴望。阿斯巴甜的甜度是普通糖的200倍。嗜好喝可乐的人习惯了超甜的味道,相比之下,其他一切都显得平淡无味。

Leatha Medina, 46, a talent acquisition manager at Jewish Family Services in San Diego and the founder of the Facebook group, had been drinking Diet Coke since her mid-20s and tried to give it up for decades. Her addiction interfered with her life on a daily basis. “I was late to work because the line at McDonald’s was too long,” she said. “I started getting disgusted at how Diet Coke was kind of leading my life.”

46岁的莉莎·麦地那(Leatha Medina)是圣地亚哥犹太家庭服务公司(Jewish Family Services)的人才招聘经理,也是那个Facebook小组的创始人,她从20多岁开始就一直在喝健怡可乐,几十年来一直试图戒掉。她的成瘾每天都在干扰她的生活。“麦当劳的队伍太长了导致我上班迟到,”她说。“我的生活似乎在被健怡可乐牵着走,我开始对此感到厌恶。”

She, too, battled severe headaches when she quit, along with “hilariously PMS crankiness,” she said. She also had an extremely strong thirst that nothing seemed to quench, but the upside was that forced her to drink more water.

她说,她戒断时也与严重的头痛作斗争,以及“可笑的经前综合症暴躁”。她感到极度口渴,喝什么都不能解渴,但好处是这迫使她喝更多的水。

Coca-Cola has a different take on what people refer to as an addiction. “Food and beverages, like chocolate, for example, can trigger what scientists call ‘reward centers’ in the brain, but so can other things like music or laughter,” said Daphne Dickerson, a spokeswoman for Coca-Cola. “Regularly consuming food and beverages that taste good and that you enjoy is not the same as being addicted to them.”

可口可乐对人们所说的成瘾有不同的看法。“食物和饮料,比如巧克力,可以触发科学家所谓的大脑‘奖励中心’,但音乐或笑声等其他事物也可以,”可口可乐公司发言人达芙妮·迪克森(Daphne Dickerson)说。“经常食用美味且你喜欢的食物和饮料,和上瘾是两回事。”

Previous studies have linked diet sodas to strokes and dementia, diabetes and metabolic syndrome, and tooth decay, as well as abdominal cramps, diarrhea, hallucinations, headaches, joint pain and nausea. But doctors aren’t able to say for certain whether it’s the aspartame or saccharin or something else. Maybe these drinkers simply lead unhealthy lives? Addicts, like me, glom onto that ambiguity, along with the fact that the Food and Drug Administration has given artificial sweetener the thumbs up.

之前的研究已经将代糖汽水与中风和失智症、糖尿病和代谢综合征、蛀牙、腹部绞痛、腹泻、幻觉、头痛、关节痛和恶心联系起来。但医生无法确定是阿斯巴甜、糖精还是其他物质引起的。也许这些嗜好者本身就过着不健康的生活?像我这样的上瘾者非常想听到这种模棱两可的解释,而且食品和药物管理局已经认可了人造甜味剂。

Just say no.

直接戒掉就是了。

So how have some people finally managed to cut the cord?

那么有些人是如何最终成功戒断的呢?

In September 2020, Mindy Beller, 58, a technical editor for an environmental consulting company in Asheville, N.C., was diagnosed with breast cancer. She had a habit that involved 8 cans of Coke Zero a day and didn’t quit until after surgery, when doctors found more cancer and she realized she’d have to undergo chemotherapy. (Although diet soda hasn’t been conclusively linked to cancer, she decided to avoid unhealthy foods.) Ms. Beller used the Quitzilla app, a habit breaker and sobriety counter, which tracked her progress. “Every time I had a craving, just looking at the app did something good in my brain,” she said. She didn’t have a lot of physical side effects, but she did long for the drink. She credits the app with helping her stay on track.

2020年9月,北卡罗来纳州阿什维尔一家环境咨询公司的技术编辑、58岁的明迪·贝勒(Mindy Beller)被诊断出患有乳腺癌。她有一个习惯,每天喝八罐零度可乐,直到手术后才戒掉,当时医生发现了更多的癌症,她意识到她必须接受化疗。(虽然低卡汽水与癌症没有结论性的联系,但她决定回避不健康的食物。)贝勒使用了应用程序Quitzilla,这是一个改掉习惯的工具和节制记录器,记录她的戒瘾进展。“每次我忍不住要喝的时候,只是看一看这个应用,就让我的大脑产生了一些好的作用,”她说。她没有很多身体上的副作用,但她确实很想喝这种饮料。她认为这个应用帮助她不会偏离目标。

Ms. Medina weaned herself in June 2019 after her sister-in-law, with whom she had a long-running bet, stopped smoking. Ms. Medina felt guilty that she hadn’t lived up to her end of the bargain, so when she went to the McDonalds drive-through she asked them to fill her Diet Coke cup all the way up to the top with ice, thus diluting the soda. Gradually she grew to like the watered-down version, which helped her cut back entirely. Since quitting for good, she said she no longer craves sugar or alcohol, and her fibromyalgia is better.

梅迪纳于2019年6月戒断。此前,她与嫂子打了一个长期的赌,而嫂子成功戒烟了。梅迪纳为自己没有完成戒断而感到内疚,所以当她去麦当劳得来速时,她要求店员在她的健怡可乐杯中加满冰块,从而稀释汽水。渐渐地,她开始喜欢稀释的汽水,这有助于她完全戒断。自从成功戒断后,她说她不再渴望糖或酒精,而且她的纤维肌痛症也好多了。

As of this writing, I’m on Day 41. I stopped suddenly, but I would hardly call myself an overnight success; the first few days were rough. My head pounded from caffeine withdrawal and I lived on Tylenol. I always used to have a can of soda when I worked, and I couldn’t concentrate without one.

在撰写本文时,我已进入第41天。我是突然开始完全不喝,但绝对不是一天就成功;最初的几天很艰难。因咖啡因戒断,我的头产生剧烈的疼痛,我靠大量泰诺来缓解。我以前习惯了工作时候喝汽水,没有汽水我就无法集中注意力。

Still, I’m planning to continue. My stomach hurts less, and my sweet tooth isn’t as persistent. And I’m quite pleased with myself — I altered a lifelong habit. If I can do this, I can do anything. Even if it takes 40 years.

无论如何,我打算继续下去。我的胃不那么痛了,我没有那么想吃甜食了。我对自己很满意——我改变了一个终生的习惯。如果我能做到这一点,我可以做任何事情。即使需要花上40年。

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