Food for Thought

By The Numbers: Sugar Consumption

By Mac Malikowski | March 5, 2013

According to an archival survey, courtesy of the Agricultural Research Service by the USDA, sugar consumption in 1955 for a single occupied household was about 63 grams of sugar per day.

Photo: ĐāżŦ

The modern suggested limit for added sugar, prescribed by The American Heart Association, is about 45 grams per day. Based on the idea of “added sugar” versus “naturally occurring sugar”, AHA would probably have let the solo survey participant slide with a the little extra sugar in his diet. It was the 50’s, you know. We were just getting all that exciting baking equipment.

However, today, the average American is consuming about 92 grams of sugar per day, with even more daunting numbers for teenagers; some averages as high as 161 grams.

Of course, sugar is not solely responsible for obesity in America (The Center for Disease Control shows a triple in obesity rates in teens over the last 30 years) but there is a remarkable correlation between increased added sugar intake in 1955 and now.

In New York, the sugar conversation couldn’t be more sour as the beginning of “The Soda Ban” is realized in exactly one week.

The details of the now passed proposal are somewhat confusing. I’d suggest watching this NY Times video from September for a pretty clear-cut explanation.

For more topics by the numbers:

More about: , , ,

You Might Also Like:


Featured Recipe

More Recipes

Meet the Team

About The Team

Whether it’s finding the best goat tacos in LA, spotting a well-worn vintage bag in Sweden, or interviewing the “crab man” selling seafood on a corner in Harlem, we tell stories seen from Chef Marcus Samuelsson‘s point of view. strives to create conversations about food, nutrition, culture, art, and design. We want to find Read More


Streetbird Rotisserie
Marcus’ Bermuda
Eatery Social Taqueria
Red Rooster Harlem
Ginny’s Supper Club
Uptown Brasserie
American Table Cafe and Bar
Kitchen and Table
American Table Brasserie and Bar
Marc Burger