Feature Archive

Kick the Sugar Habit

You can tame your sweet tooth with smart substitutions and reasonable limits.

By Carol Sorgen
WebMD Feature

Reviewed By Charlotte Grayson

Don't eat too many sweets, your mother probably told you. Seems that Mom now has the United Nations on her side. According to a recent report by experts from two UN agencies -- the World Health Organization and the Food and Agriculture Organization -- we're eating way too much sugar.

Just how much sugar do we eat? You might be surprised, says Lisa Ritchie, EdD, RD, LD, assistant professor of family and consumer sciences and director of the Didactic Program in Dietetics at Harding University in Searcy, Ark.

The amount of sugar used in this country is somewhere betweeen 40 and 60 pounds per person per year, she tells WebMD. For the year 2000, says Ritchie, that translated into 21.5 million tons, which included the sugars found in baked goods, yeast breads, cereal products, and the high-fructose corn syrup used to sweeten soft drinks.

That there's sugar in those items shouldn't surprise you. But you may be surprised to learn that there's sugar in ketchup, canned vegetables, luncheon meats, bacon, fast-food hamburgers, even sushi, says Nancy Appleton, PhD, author of Lick the Sugar Habit and Lick the Sugar Habit Sugar Counter.

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors