This Day On The Street
Continue to site
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

Our Sugar Consumption Is Out of Control, Author Says

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Sugar is not so nice -- to the human body, that is.

The average American consumes 22 teaspoons of sugar per day, says J.J. Virgin, a nutritionist and author of Sugar Impact Diet, due out in November. That's to the benefit of a cane sugar refining industry that made $3.3 billion in revenue in 2012 with an estimated gross profit of 19.21%, according to a market report issued last year, but not to the benefit of consumers.

"Save for momentary gratification, nothing good comes from eating sugar," Virgin says. "It wrecks your immune system, crashes your blood sugar to create fatigue and bloating, stores as fat and sets the stage for cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer."

That may be news to people who've consumed another product of sugar producers such as C&HDixie Crystals, Domino and Great Western: a public relations campaign to keep sugar's market share high that Mother Jones magazine identified as costing about $3.4 million a year.

Also see: You Have a 25% Chance of Needing Disability Insurance

Virgin reached out with a thorough -- and alarming -- list illustrating the extent and result of Americans' addiction to sugar -- an addiction she calls as strong as one to cocaine, based on brain scans of people who use each. Be prepared to switch from that candy bar to an apple when you finish:

  • Recent analyses indicate that children and adolescents get about 16% of their total caloric intake from added sugars.
  • In the average American's diet, added sugar accounts for almost 500 calories per day.
  • The average American consumes 22 teaspoons of sugar every day, and the average child consumes 32.
  • In 1900, the average American consumed five pounds of sugar annually. By 2000, that number had risen to 150 pounds annually.
  • Worldwide, consumption of sugar is growing faster than population. In the past decade (from 2000 to 2010), sugar consumption rose by 23%.
  • The average American will chug down three pounds of sugar each week, adding up to 3,550 pounds over a lifetime. That's enough sugar to fill an entire industrial dumpster.
  • The biggest sugar culprit? Soft drinks, which account for 33% of added-sugar intake each day. A 12-ounce soft drink is like sitting down and eating 10 teaspoons of sugar. Keep in mind, too, that most people are opting for larger-sized soft drinks.
  • Fruit drinks, often touted as healthy for kids, make up about 10% of added sugar intake.
  • Dairy desserts (such as ice cream) and milk account for almost 9% of added-sugar intake.
  • More than 70 health disorders are linked to sugar consumption, including diabetes, poor brain development in children, lack of concentration, allergies, asthma, ADHD, hypoglycemia, mood swings and immune and nutritional deficiencies.

Virgin says she's a realist, and knows there's little chance you won't get some sugar in your body no matter what diet you use. Even veggies and nuts contain some of the sweet stuff.

But she advises absorbing that sugar as slowly as possible, and advocates a low-glycemic diet that gives you a low, slow rise in blood sugar, instead of the "giant insulin surge" you get from most sugary foods and drinks. That can help avoid the fatigue, inflammation and weight gain that comes with traditional sugar intake.

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Real Money

More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.

Product Features:
  • Access to Jim Cramer's daily blog
  • Intraday commentary and news
  • Real-time trading forums
Only $49.95
14-Days Free
14-Days Free
AAPL $93.64 0.00%
FB $118.57 0.00%
GOOG $698.21 0.00%
TSLA $241.80 0.00%
YHOO $36.53 0.00%


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 17,891.16 +117.52 0.66%
S&P 500 2,081.43 +16.13 0.78%
NASDAQ 4,817.5940 +42.2360 0.88%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs