Excessive Added Sugar Clogs Americans' Diets (Infographic)

Infographic: How much sugar Americans consume.
Drinking soft drinks alone gives teenagers more than the recommended maximum daily amount of sugar. (Image credit: by Karl Tate, Infographics Artist)

Sugar contains calories but zero nutrients (such as vitamins and minerals). Sugar is naturally occurring in dairy products (lactose) and fruits (fructose), but many processed foods and beverages contain added sugar in excessive amounts.

One sugar cube is equivalent to 1 teaspoon of granular sugar or 4 grams. It contains 16 calories.

The American Heart Association recommends that men and boys consume no more than 9 teaspoons of added sugar per day; girls and women should consume no more than 6 teaspoons. The average American consumes 22 teaspoons per day.

One-third of all added sugar comes from soft drinks. Drinking soft drinks gives teenagers up to 15 teaspoons’ worth of added sugar per day, more than an entire day’s recommended amount.

The USDA estimates that Americans consume 110.5 lbs. (50.1 kilo- grams) of added sugar annually. Two hundred years ago, Americans ate only 2 lbs. (0.9 kg) per year.

Karl Tate
LiveScience Infographic Artist
Karl has been Purch's infographics specialist across all editorial properties since 2010.  Before joining Purch, Karl spent 11 years at the New York headquarters of The Associated Press, creating news graphics for use around the world in newspapers and on the web.  He has a degree in graphic design from Louisiana State University.