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Sugar --- How It Affects Your
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January 1, 2008, last updated December 15, 2012
By Susan M. Callahan, Associate Editor and Featured

Americans consume an average of 76 pounds of sugar a
year, according to the latest statistics from the US
Department of Agriculture. That's over 6 pounds of sugar a
month for every man, woman and child in the nation. This
extraordinary amount of sugar has been blamed for a host
of health problems in the US, from soaring rates of obesity,
to diabetes, increasing cases of early disability and more.

But when you look at world sugar consumption, you notice
something strange. The US is not the leading consuming
nation of sugar. In fact, the US trails India, the European
Union (27 countries) and China in total sugar consumption.
Why, then, do these countries and regions have better
statistics on diabetes, heart disease, obesity than the US?

The answer may lie in the type of sugar consumed mostly
in the US. Much of the daily sugar consumed in the US is in
the form of high fructose corn syrup found in sugary
cereals, breads, snacks and other processed foods. All of
the other regions which surpass the US in sugar
consumption also consume far less processed foods that
contain this type of sugar.

It's estimated that each American consumes approximately
37 pounds of high fructose corn syrup annually ---more
than 3 pounds per month.

The health effects of this massive consumption of sugar in
the form of high fructose corn syrup is the subject of
intense debate. But what is clear is the following:

-Sugar, in general, and high fructose corn syrup, in
particular increases the body's production of insulin. This
insulin response can become impaired over time, as the
body's natural ability to produce insulin becomes more

-The rise in the consumption of sugar and high fructose
corn syrup closely parallels the rise in the rates of diabetes
and obesity in the US.

-The rise in the consumption of sugar in all types close
mirrors the rise in the rates of
fatty liver disease.

-Sugar is one of the chief causes of internal
which is a recondition of many diseases, including heart
disease and stroke.  

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