Added sugar in American diets down, but still not enough, study says

Overall, Americans are consuming less sugar than before, but we’re still getting about 13 percent of our daily calories from added sugars, Medical Daily reported.

A study from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey revealed that two-thirds of that added sugar comes from foods, and the other third comes from beverages, like regular soda.

Based on interviews with 15,700 adults over the age of 20, conducted between 2005 and 2010, researchers found that men are consuming 335 calories of added sugar and women are consuming 239 calories of added sugar each day.

"These results may underestimate the actual sugar intake because people may add sugar to cereal in the morning and to beverages such as coffee and tea," said Bethene Ervin, the study's lead author and a nutritional epidemiologist with the National Center for Health Statistics at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The American Heart Association recommends that men get no more than 150 calories each day from added sugars, and women no more than 100 calories. High sugar intake can lead to serious health problems, including diabetes, heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, and other conditions,  Medical Daily reported.

"Most of us don't have room in our diets for this many calories from added sugars," said Rachel Johnson, a spokeswoman for the American Heart Association and professor of nutrition at the University of Vermont. "There is a small glimmer of hope that added sugar consumption is declining modestly due to the reduction in full-calorie soft drinks, but the amount people are consuming is still substantially higher than it should be."

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