The U.S. Leads The Way…

There are many questions about how much sugar people should eat in a day.

For example, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends a maximum 25 grams of sugar per day for average weight adults, which would logically be less for children and teens. But, we have seen other reliable sources allow close to double that amount!

But, how much sugar do people actually eat? That depends on who you ask. According to the Washington Post, Americans eat about 126 grams of sugar per person per day. “That’s more than twice the average sugar intake of all 54 countries observed by the Euromonitor.”

Medical Daily released a study showing that an average US citizen eats 90 grams of sugar on an average day. That was 6th highest among the countries surveyed. Brazil topped the list with 152 grams of sugar a day.

Regardless of which website you choose to believe, you will find that, on average, Americans don’t even come close to staying under 24 grams of sugar a day limit.

As we know, too much sugar can lead to obesity, and obesity leads to a lot of health cost. Specifically, 147 BILLION dollars for all Americans, per year, is spent on treating obesity. It is sad that Americans spend that much money on such a curable issue. The worst part? People in good health are paying for this.

This was the reason Mayor Bloomburg tried to ban large soda’s in New York City. He was more worried about the economic effects then the medical effects. Even though it goes against the Constitution of the United States, Bloomburg had strong reasons for his ban. It was costing NYC money that they just didn’t have.

Although we have the right to eat as much sugar as we want, we should consider the effects it has on our city, our state, and our country. We have better things to spend 147 billion dollars on than healthcare for obese people.

But what are our options to reduce our sugar intake and obesity rates as a country?

The Supreme Court has already ruled that a ban on sugary drinks is unconstitutional. And no matter what new health restrictions and guidelines get released, many people will just ignore them. This is because people who eat lots of sugar never think that they will become diabetic or obese. The sad truth is that diabetes and obesity are sugar problems that are costing the country billions, but no one seems to think that they are that big of a deal.

In my opinion, America’s best option is to go straight to the source of the problem: get companies that produce popular foods and drinks that are high in sugar reduce the amount of sugar they put in their products. If they reduce the sugar in their foods, the costumers will either eat less sugar or have to pay more money to eat the same amount of sugar. Either way, that is a win-win for food companies and this America.

If nothing else, the government should at least start taxing high sugary foods, similarly to what they do with tobacco. This would make healthy options cheaper in comparison, adding more incentive to eat healthily. This way, people will at least think twice before they load up on sugar.

The main problem is that it is too easy and too cheap to buy high sugar foods. That needs to change.

There are three important lessons I learned from this research:

1) Americans eat wayyy to much sugar per day, and it costs the U.S. a ton.

2) Even if you limit your personal sugar consumption, you are still paying for those who don’t.

3) Trusted, reliable websites can disagree on important topics and statistics.

#TheRealCost

-Ried D.

Edited by Daniel C.

3 comments

  1. Colin

    When calculating total sugar in a day, it is hard to determine what is added sugar and what is naturally occurring sugar on many products. I use myfitnesspal to track daily intake, but I end up with the total sugar (natural and added). Is trying to limit this to 36g for a male reasonable, or should I be ignoring the sugar when I eat and apple or carrots (in an unprocessed or whole food).

    • William Ferriter

      Thanks for visiting our blog! There is no chemical difference between natural and added sugars. Natural sugars come with nutrients and complex carbohydrates, however. Those more than negate the effects of the sugar. But when we say “24 grams of sugar per day,” we are mostly just talking about added sugars, or sugars without other benefits. You shouldn’t ignore natural sugars, but you shouldn’t worry too much about them or factor them into calculations, either.
      For more information, check out our post on natural sugars.
      -Daniel C. and Joel H.

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