Too much sugar: We eat 60 pounds of the sweet stuff every year

By Brandi Hodges - bio | email

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) – We all know obesity is a growing problem and hidden sugar may be to blame!

How much of the sweet stuff we take in may surprise you.  Every year Americans consume on average 60 pounds of sugar.

"Sugar is in most things we take in and we don't even recognize it," said Dr. Shane Speights.

There are obvious foods that have sugar but other foods like bread, pasta, and fruit have hidden sugars.

"It's amazing over the last few decades how our increase in sugar intake has really been a key component in obesity and diabetes," said Speights.

Dr. Speights said high-fructose corn syrup and other refined sugars are leading the obesity epidemic.

"High fructose corn syrup is a lot cheaper and has a longer shelf life and is used in many of the foods we take in," said Speights.

A lot of our sugar comes from snacks and drinks and each of those things has a lot more sugar than you think.

"Typically, for an adult patient, they should be taking in anywhere from 200 maybe at the most 300 grams of sugar a day," said Speights.

A two liter bottle of soda has 108 grams of sugar and measured out that's almost one cup.  Speights said the increase isn't the first one we've seen.  Between 1970 and 1990 our sugar intake went up by about 1,000%.

"Unfortunately a lot of the packaging and marketing that these products have are going to hide a lot of the sugars that are there," said Speights.

While the fact that we consume so much sugar may be shocking, Dr. Speights said many of us could be taking in even more.

"Should we really be having that two or three number of cokes a day or is that candy bar really good for me or what is in this candy bar that I'm eating," said Speights.

Speights said it's important to remember that there are good sugars too.  Naturally occurring sugars found in fruits are not as bad for you.

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