173 Years of US Sugar Consumption

US Sugar Consumption: 1822-2005

 Thanks to Dr. Stephan Guyenet and Jeremy Landen for this sugar consumption graph.  I’d never seen one going this far back in time. 
Dr. Guyenet writes:
It’s a remarkably straight line, increasing steadily from 6.3 pounds per person per year in 1822 to a maximum of 107.7 lb/person/year in 1999.  Wrap your brain around this: in 1822, we ate the amount of added sugar in one 12 ounce can of soda every five days, while today we eat that much sugar every seven hours.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that added sugars provide 17% of the total calories in the average American diet.  A typical carbonated soda contain the equivalent of 10 tsp (50 ml) of sugar.  The average U.S. adult eats 30 tsp  (150 ml) daily of added sweeteners and sugars.
Note that added sugars overwhelmingly supply only one nutrient: pure carbohdyrate without vitamins, minerals, protein, fat, antioxidants, etc.
Do you think sugar consumption has anything to do with diseases of affluence, also known as diseases of modern civilization?  I do.
Was our pancreas designed to handle this much sugar?  Apparently not, judging from skyrocketing rates of diabetes and prediabetes.


Filed under Carbohydrate, Causes of Diabetes, Sugar

4 responses to “173 Years of US Sugar Consumption

  1. What I find even more surprising is that this is despite of all the sweeteners that have come online since the 60’s or so. Imagine you’d add all those as “sugar equivalents” – the graph would probably explode…
    It would also be interesting to see how this average sugar consumption is distributed around the mean

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