Not So Sweet – The Average American Consumes 150-170 Pounds of Sugar Each Year
Tipping the sugar scale
This is reported by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). the average American consumes somewhere in between 150 to 170 pounds simple sugars, aka refined sugars (these include glucose, fructose and sucrose) or simple carbohydrates in a year!
You may be thinking, “I don’t consume that much.” Well, it’s also said that for every American who eats just 5 pounds of sugar a year, there’s one who eats about 295 pounds a year. That is A LOT OF Sugar – especially when compared to how much we used to consume. Less than 100 years ago was the average intake of sugar only about 4 pounds per person per year.
Can’t you imagine how much sugar is 150 to 170 pounds? Here’s a picture: Imagine 30 to 34 5 pound bags of sugar lined up side by side on a counter. Now imagine a person, maybe yourself, eating all that sugar. To break it down even further, eating 150-170 pounds of sugar in a year also equates to eating 1/4 to 1/2 pound of sugar every day. Don’t you think it’s easy to consume that amount of sugar? Think again… here are some more numbers:
Sugar, Soda and Math
There are 120 teaspoons in a pound of sugar. That is, 1/4 pound of sugar is 30 teaspoons and 1/2 pound of sugar is 60 teaspoons. An average 12-ounce can of soda contains about 8 ounces of simple sugars. That means just four 12-ounce cans of soda is equivalent to 1/4 pound of sugar! For some people, drinking that amount of soda in a day is not a difficult task.
This only calculates the amount of sugar in it sparkling water. Just think of them Miscellaneous Sources of sugar in our diet. Americans consume refined sugar in numerous forms – there are the obvious sugary culprits – donuts, cookies, cakes and ice cream. However, sugar is in so many things that we eat on a daily basis. Sweeteners like high fructose corn syrup are also found in salad dressings, bread, hot dogs, peanut butter, pickles, canned fruits and vegetables, ketchup, canned soups, crackers, cookies, and several other grocery products.
It’s not just a drug, it’s also a poison
Some classify refined sugar as a drug or poison because it is depleted of its life forces, proteins, minerals and vitamins. Too much of it can be harmful to the body and cause disease. We’ve all heard about the dangers of consuming too much sugar in our diet – it can lead to organ dysfunction and hormonal imbalances. When these systems are disturbed and imbalanced, several other pathological conditions manifest themselves: allergies, obesity, degenerative diseases/organ diseases, diabetes, depression, behavioral problems, etc.
If you get sick multiple times throughout the year, it’s worth looking at your sugar consumption
What does sugar consumption have to do with illness? Excessive sugar consumption suppresses your body’s immunity. Studies have shown that consuming 75 to 100 grams of simple sugars (about 20 teaspoons of sugar — the amount found in 2.5 average 12-ounce cans) can significantly suppress the body’s immune response. These sugars are known to decrease the ability of white blood cells to kill bacteria and germs in the body by 40-50%. Sugar’s immunosuppressive effects begin less than 30 minutes after ingestion and can last for five hours. By eating 150 to 170 pounds of simple sugars a year, a person can have up to 80,000 hours of immunosuppression!
Given that the average American consumes 150-170 pounds of sugar annually, I’m not surprised to hear that about 60% of the US population is currently overweight or obese. There are of course other factors that play into this statistic, but I’m pretty sure our sugar consumption has a lot to do with it. I don’t know about you, but sugar still sounds “not so sweet” to me…
Thanks to Jennifer M. Regan