Just how much sugar do Amer­i­cans con­sume? It’s com­pli­cated

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - BUSINESS - By Candice Choi AP Food In­dus­try Writer

Sugar has be­come the nu­tri­tional vil­lain du jour, but just how bad is our ad­dic­tion? The an­swer is tricky.

Philadel­phia re­cently passed a tax on sug­ary drinks, sev­eral other places have pro­posed them, and the gov­ern­ment this year rec­om­mended we limit our in­take of added sug­ars to 10 per­cent of daily calo­ries, un­der­scor­ing how sig­nif­i­cant elected of­fi­cials be­lieve the prob­lem is. But while de­ter­min­ing ex­actly how much sugar we’re con­sum­ing is a com­pli­cated busi­ness — gov­ern­ment fig­ures are es­ti­mates— the data and in­dus­try trends in­di­cate we’ve ac­tu­ally made progress in cut­ting back.

On av­er­age, Amer­i­cans’ to­tal con­sump­tion of caloric sweet­en­ers like re­fined cane sugar and high­fruc­tose corn syrup is down 15 per­cent from its peak in 1999, ac­cord­ing to gov­ern­ment data. That’s when we con­sumed an av­er­age of 111 grams of sugar a day (423 calo­ries).

Af­ter plateau­ing in re­cent years, con­sump­tion was down to 94 grams a day (358 calo­ries) last year, ac­cord­ing to the U.S. Depart­ment of Agri­cul­ture, which cal­cu­lates the fig­ures by es­ti­mat­ing how much of the caloric sweet­en­ers pro­duced are never eaten. But that level is still higher than the 87 grams Amer­i­cans con­sumed on av­er­age in 1970.

A ma­jor fac­tor for the drop ap­pears to be the de­cline in soda con­sump­tion, as the high-fruc­tose corn syrup used to sweeten drinks like Sprite and Moun­tain Dew has been

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.