The American Heart Association’s Circulation Magazine just published a report which concludes with something everyone already knows:
Researchers from the CDC and Atlanta’s Emory University studied thousands of teens’ sugar consumption rates over the course of five years and correlated that to incidence of coronary disease and its predictors. They discovered that
- The average teen consumes 28 teaspoons of added sugar per day. That’s almost 500 calories worth!
- Those consuming the most sugar (30% or more of total calories) had almost 10% more bad blood cholesterol and 10% less good cholesterol than those who ate the least added sugar (less than 10% of total calories).
- Overweight and obese teens who ate the most sugar also had the most insulin resistance.
What you need to know:
Is anyone really surprised? The food industry (and any industry, actually) loves teens. They are impressionable and can be converted to loyal lifetime customers. And they have their own money to spend, in many cases.
So where does the added sugar come from? The study didn’t go into those details, but we all know that soda pop plays a big factor. A standard vending machine bottle of Coke has 20 fl oz of drink, to consumed by one person. It has 240 calories, or roughly 15 teaspoons of sugar in it! Drink two of those a day, and you’re all set…
Of course there are tons of other sugar sources out there as well – breakfast cereals, snacks, energy bars, etc…
What to do at the supermarket:
If you are a teen and reading this – kudos! It’s never too early too start taking an interest in nutrition. The quickest and most effective way for you to slash you sugar intake is by going cold turkey on all beverages. From now on – only tap water.
If you’re thinking diet soda, think again.