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**How much sugar does the average American
consume in one year?**

In Table 202 of its 2001 edition, the *
Statistical Abstract of
the United States *states that per capita consumption of caloric sweeteners
(cane
and beet sugars, honey, molasses, maple syrup, corn sweeteners, etc.) was 158.4 pounds in
1999. The breakdown was

- corn sweeteners, 89.1 pounds
- cane and beet sugars, 67.9 pounds
- all others, 1.4 pounds

This is up from 155.1 pounds in 1998, 149.8 pounds in 1995, 136.9 pounds in 1990, 123.0 pounds in 1980, 122.3 pounds in 1970, and 97.6
pounds in 1960. The figure from 1970 is from *
Food
Consumption, Prices, and Expenditures 1970-97*, table 1; that from 1960
is from the

Perhaps the largest single source of sugar is soft drinks. By my calculations
there is just under one pound (actually .94 lb.) of refined sugar in each gallon of
caloric soft drink (at 10 teaspoons of sugar per 12 ounce can). In Table 204 of the
2001 Statistical Abstract, we find that per capita we consumed 39.1 gallons of
caloric
soft drinks in 1999. That is about 25% of our per capita caloric sweetener consumption.
For those who are interested, we consumed an additional 11.7 gallons of
non-calorically sweetened soft drinks per capita in 1999. That makes a total of 50.8
gallons per year. That was up from 46.3 gallons in 1990 and 35.1 gallons in 1980.
We now drink just over twice as much soda pop as milk (51 versus 24 gallons per
capita). In 1960 we drank just over 3 times as much milk as soda (37.9 versus 12.3
gallons per capita). (Here is a table
illustrating beverage consumption in the U.S. since 1960.) For an interesting look at soft drinks in the U.S., read the *highlights*
from the * Center for
Science in the Public Interest*'s

For other Classroomtools.com ideas dealing with food, see What's That?! and What % of the Adult Population is Actually Overweight?.

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original web posting: Tuesday, December 15, 1998

last modified:
Saturday, December 09, 2006