Sugar is one of life's greatest indulgences, it has been consumed throughout the centuries in various forms such as fruit and honey. However, within this modern age, sugar is readily available and widely consumed. The growing popularity of soft drinks, fast food, and snacks that typically contain significant amounts of added sugar the question should be asked – how much added sugar do I consume, how much should I consume, and what are the implications of consuming too much?
“The USDA recommends that the average person on a 2,000-calorie daily diet include no more than 40 grams of added sugars.” (USDA Fact Book)
Furthermore, the American Heart Association (AHA) suggests women should not consume more than 20 grams of sugar and men should not exceed 30 grams of sugar per day. The 2010 United States Census revealed that the average American consumes 147 pounds of “caloric sweeteners”; an assimilation of high fructose corn syrup, cane sugar and beet sugar. More specifically their consumption averages to .4 pounds per day and equates to an astonishing 180 grams. Consequentially the average American greatly exceeds the limitations suggested by the USD and AHA.
Soft drinks are a key factor resulting in the overconsumption of sugar. According to the Coca Cola Corporation, a 12 ounce can of Coca Cola contains 39 grams of sugar(Coca Cola Company) . The Coca Cola Company sells 1.3 billion drinks, many are Coca Colas that exceed the AHA's suggested amount of sugar intake, and nearly reaches the USDA's suggested limit.
“Our Company is one of numerous competitors in the commercial beverages market. Of the approximately 50 billion beverage servings of all types consumed worldwide every day, beverages bearing trademarks owned by or licensed to us account for more than 1.3 billion. “ […]In 2005, concentrates and syrups for beverages bearing the trademark "Coca-Cola" or including the trademark "Coke" ("Coca-Cola Trademark Beverages") accounted for approximately 55 percent of the Company's total gallon sales. “ (Coca Cola Company)
Fast food is another facet where sugar is liberally consumed. For instance, a standard happy meal sold by McDonald's contains 24 grams of sugar, while one of their "Hot Caramel Sundae" contains 44 grams of sugar and is considered merely dessert. Lastly a “Coca-Cola® Classic (Small)” amounts to 40 grams of sugar(McDonalds Corp.).
However, although most are aware that fast foods contains considerable amounts of sugar, there are many foods that inconspicuously contain added sugar. For instance, a serving of Heinz Ketchup is 4 grams of sugar out of a net weight of 12 grams, and is merely a condiment for a meal.(Heinz Corp) Common breakfast cereals such as a serving of Kellog's Frosted Flaked contains 12 grams of sugar and a single unfrosted Kellogs “Blueberry Pop-Tart” contains 13 grams of sugar(Kellogs Corp.).
If the average American's consumption of sugar is exceeding what is suggested by...