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Not So Sweet

From what I’m reading, our national sugar consumption is up to 150 pounds a year per capita.  Here’s an article from US News and World Report that I found alarming.

One Sweet Nation
Published 3/20/05
Here are some facts about Americans' infatuation with sugar and syrup:
In 1967, Americans ate 114 pounds of sugar and sweeteners a year per capita, nearly all of it as either raw or refined sugar. In 2003, each person consumed about 142 pounds of sugar per year.

Since high-fructose corn syrup was developed more than 30 years ago, consumption of the sweetener, which flavors everything from soda pop to ranch dressing, has skyrocketed. Now Americans each down about 61 pounds a year.

Since 1950, soft-drink consumption per capita has quadrupled, from about 11 gallons per year to about 46 gallons in 2003--nearly a gallon a week per person.
With all that sugar-eating, it's no wonder people don't have much room for their vegetables. In 2003, Americans consumed, on average, a dismal 8.3 pounds of broccoli and just over 25 pounds of dark lettuces (the kinds that are really good for you).
My Thoughts:Here’s how sugar causes you to overeat.  How long would it take you to eat a teaspoon of sugar?  Now suppose that teaspoon of sugar was in an apple.  How many apples could you consume in 20 minutes?  How much sugar?  Suppose you put that sugar into a beverage?  Think you could drink 5, 10, 20 or more teaspoons in 20 minutes?  Because the sugar is much more dense (no fiber), it’s much easier to consume way too many empty calories. 

I cringe every time I see children with sugary beverages accompanying their meals in a restaurant.  Without fail, they drink them first, eat their fries and then leave the protein and veggies cooling on their plates.  As children and adults grow fatter and fatter, they need to eat more and more, their ability to expend energy decreases, and they get fatter.  Vicious circle.  Watch the offensive linemen with their big bellies on a pro football team.  They are not known for their running ability.  They are block walls. 

Other carbohydrates require digestion, but sugar is absorbed into the blood stream immediately.  Blood sugar rapidly peaks and then quickly drops after consuming sugar.  You’re still hungry.  Time for more sugar.  As you consume it, realize that the nations with the highest consumption of sugar also report the highest levels of diabetes.

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