"We're consuming far too much sugar, roughly twice as much on average as the Department of Agriculture says can fit into a healthy diet," says Michael Jacobson at the Center for Science in the Public Interest.
Americans are consuming more sugar than ever. Nutritionist Nancy Appleton says she's a reformed sugar addict. Her book "Lick the Sugar Habit" cites research claiming that sugar contributes to dozens of illnesses. Government research shows the average American ate 150 pounds of sugar and other sweeteners in 1996. That is 20% more than 10 years earlier.
Sugar can be found in many products, including grilled chicken, milk, even vegetables. A 20-ounce soft drink can contain a whole day's recommended allowance of high fructose corn syrup, a man-made form of sugar, and compare the size of a soft drink 30 years ago to what we consume today! But the sugar industry says whether natural or man-made, sugars are low-fat, only 15 calories per teaspoon. So, the conflict remains unresolved, as the sweet temptation of the holiday season begins.
The sugar Association cites studies that claim a diet of up to 25% sugar is not harmful to your health. The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends no more than 10 teaspoons of sugar a day on an average 2,000 calorie diet. That is about half of a 20-ounce soft drink.