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Added Sugars Continue to Plague American Health

Update Date: May 02, 2013 12:17 PM EDT

With the current obesity epidemic afflicting the majority of the world, it should be of no surprise that the consumption of added sugars is still way above recommended. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) looked for t the exact numbers once again in its latest report. According to the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, people's daily consumption of calories should only include anywhere from five percent to fifteen percent of added sugars, fats and other "discretionary calories." Despite this recommendation, Americans are still surpassing the 15 percent limit easily.

The CDC reports that Americans in general intake 13 percent of their calories per day from added sugars alone based on the years between 2005 and 2010. The agency found that overall, men tended to consume more added sugars, with a count of 335 calories per day, than women, who consumed an average of 239 calories per day. When the numbers were converted into percentages out of total calories consumed, the rates were relatively the same with 12.7 percent and 13.2 percent. The report found that adults ate more sugars during their 20s and 30s but lowered their intake in their 40s and above. Between the ages of 20 and 39, men consumed 397 calories of added sugars from foods and drinks per day. This number decreased to 338 calories per day in men between the ages of 40s and 50s and then to 224 calories per day once men reached 60 and above. For women, the largest amount of calories consumed was 275, followed by 236 and then 182 by the time they reached 60 and older.

Aside from categorizing sex differences in calorie consumption of added sugars, the researchers also looked at racial backgrounds and socioeconomic statuses. They found that African American men and women consumed more calories from added sugars, followed by Caucasians and Mexican Americans. People who were poorer consumed more added sugars when compared to people who had higher incomes.

Added sugars do not only come from soda and fast foods, which is often the perception. The report stated that 67 percent of added sugars originated from foods eaten at home while 58 percent of added sugars come from drinks. Added sugars contribute to obesity, which can lead to several health complications such as strokes and heart attacks. Consuming more added sugars can also lead to eating less fruits and vegetables that provide better nutrients for the body, which is why it is important to limit added sugar intake.

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