Recent Study: We’re Consuming Less Sugar. Or Are We?

A study recently published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition has some good news: Between the years 2000 and 2008, our daily intake of added sugars has gone down from 3.5 ounces to 2.7 ounces. That’s almost a 25% decrease!

“We were surprised to see that there was a substantial reduction over the years,” said Dr. Jean Welsh, a researcher at Emory University in Atlanta and the lead author of the report. read more from Reuters…

When trying to interpret the data, researchers and analysts had several explanations:

- the decrease is due to heightened awareness by consumers to the obesity and diabetes risks of added sugars (especially in sodas).

- schools started to massively reduce the presence of sweetened beverages around 2000-2001.

- Added sugars come by many different names – table sugar, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, cane juice, and more. But many manufacturers have begun using fruit juice and fruit juice concentrate as their sweeteners, and these were not technically considered as added sugars by the study. Despite their healthy  sounding name, these are sugars with no added health benefits. They just happened to come from a fruit instead of sugar can or a beet.

- The study did not track an increase in the use of artificial sweeteners, which might end up being even worse for many of us (here’s why)

It seems to us that a 25% reduction in our craving for sweets in less than 10 years is highly unlikely. What do you think?

What to do at the supermarket:

When looking up ingredient lists, make sure sugar or its synonyms are not present in large quantities. This includes the seemingly innocent fruit juice concentrate.

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  • Treena W.

    Sugar and sugar substitutes throw so many systems in our bodies off balance.  It suppresses our immune system, cause havoc on our hormones and rewire our brains making us seek out sugary foods.  If there is one ingredient that people need to wean themselves from is sugar and sweeteners.  In my book, EATING OURSELVES CRAZY, I discuss how sugar actually contributes to mood disorders.

    Treena Wynes

    • Jim Cooper

      I don’t think any of this has been established by research. It just seems reasonable.

      • Treena W.

        There are a variety of excellent sources of research on the negative effects of sugar such as “Pure, White and Deadly” and “Sweet and Dangerous” by J. Yudkin.  Also Prevention’s “The Sugar Solution” is one of my favorites. 

  • Kelli

    My vote is on the artificial sweeteners. I’ve met so many people that don’t give artificial sweeteners a second thought.