Tipping the sugar scales
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) reports that the average American consumes anywhere between 150 to 170 pounds of simple sugars, also known as refined sugars (this includes glucose, fructose, and sucrose) or simple carbohydrates, in one year!
You may be thinking, “I don’t use 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’s it A LOT of sugar, especially when compared to the amount we used to consume in the past. Less than 100 years ago, the average sugar intake was only about 4 pounds per person per year.
Can’t fathom the amount of sugar in 150 to 170 pounds? Here’s a picture: Imagine 30 to 34 five-pound bags of sugar lined up side by side on a counter. Now imagine a person, perhaps yourself, eating all that sugar. To break it down further, eating 150-170 pounds of sugar in a year is also equivalent to consuming 1/4 to 1/2 pound of sugar every day. Don’t you think that consuming this amount of sugar is easy to achieve? Think again…here are some more numbers:
Sugar, soda and math
There are 120 teaspoons in a pound of sugar. This means that 1/4 pound of sugar equals 30 teaspoons and 1/2 pound of sugar equals 60 teaspoons. An average 12-ounce can of soda contains about 8 ounces of simple sugar. This means that just four 12-ounce cans of soda will equal 1/4 pound of sugar! For some people, drinking this amount of soda in a day is not a difficult task to accomplish.
This is calculating just how much sugar is in soda. Just think of him other Sources of sugar in our diet. Americans consume refined sugars in numerous forms; there are the obvious sugary culprits: donuts, cookies, cakes, and ice cream. However, sugar is hidden in much of what we consume every day. Sweeteners like high-fructose corn syrup can also be found in salad dressings, breads, hot dogs, peanut butter, pickles, canned fruits and vegetables, ketchup, canned soups, crackers, cookies, and other food products .
It’s not just a drug, it’s also a poison
Some classify refined sugar as a drug or poison because it lacks its vital forces, proteins, minerals, and vitamins. Too much can be harmful to the body and can cause illness. We’ve all heard the dangers of consuming too much sugar in our diets: it can lead to organ malfunction and hormone disruption. When these systems are disturbed and unbalanced, other pathological conditions manifest: allergies, obesity, degenerative/organ diseases, diabetes, depression, behavioral problems, etc.
If you get sick several times during the year, you may want to watch your sugar intake
How is eating sugar related to being sick? Excessive consumption of sugar depresses 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 an average of two and a half 12-ounce cans of soda) can significantly suppress the body’s immune responses. These sugars are known to create a 40 to 50% drop in the ability of white blood cells to kill bacteria and germs within the body. The immunosuppressive effect of sugar begins less than thirty minutes after ingestion and can last for five hours. By consuming 150 to 170 pounds of simple sugars each year, a person can have up to 80,000 hours of immune suppression!
Given that the average American consumes between 150 and 170 pounds of sugar a year, I’m not surprised to hear that about 60% of the American population is overweight or obese. Obviously, there are other factors that play a role in this stat, but I’m pretty sure our sugar intake has a lot to do with it. I don’t know about you, but to me, it makes sugar sound “not so sweet” after all…