There’s nothing sweet about how much sugar people consume every day. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), the average adult in the United States takes in 22 teaspoons of added sugar a day, or a whopping 150 pounds a year, while teens pile in 34 teaspoons a day. That’s more than twice the amount of sugar we should be eating.
“The average American is basically overdosing on sugar,” says Connie Bennett, author of Sugar Shock!, who believes that the AHA’s estimates of sugar consumption are conservative, and it’s closer to 50 teaspoons of added sugar a day.
The amount is shocking, and the potential health effects of excess sugar consumption are even scarier. Mounting evidence suggests that flooding your system with the sweet stuff can play a role in obesity, heart disease, and cancer. It can also impact how you look or feel, doing damage to your skin or altering your mood.
Read on for the scoop on six scary effects of sugar. These findings may make you want to curb your sweet tooth for good.
Tossing Back Sugary Drinks May Increase Your Risk of Diabetes
Consuming sugar-sweetened beverages, such as soft drinks, fruit drinks, iced tea, and sports drinks, may increase your chances of developing type 2 diabetes. A recent study published in the journal Diabetes Care examined more than 310,000 patients and found that those who drank 1 to 2 servings of the sweet stuff a day were 26% more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those who drank it once a month or not at all. What’s more, University of California, San Francisco, researchers estimated that 130,000 new cases of diabetes between 1990 and 2000 can be attributed to the increase in Americans’ consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages.
The reason is twofold: Loading up on sugar-sweetened beverages tends to lead to weight gain, which is a risk factor for diabetes. Previous studies have found that those who toss back high-calorie drinks tend not to cut calories elsewhere from their meals. Second, sugar-loaded drinks deliver a quick rush of sugars to your body, which over time can lead to insulin resistance and inflammation, explains Jacob Teitelbaum, MD.
We will be continuing the discussion tomorrow,
Until next time,