Americans eat too much sugar, and it's killing us
Americans eat too much sugar, and our collective sweet tooth is killing us.
So says a study published last week by the journal JAMA Internal Medicine. It finds that 71.4 percent of U.S. adults get more than the recommended 10 percent of their daily calories from added sugars in foods and drinks - and that higher levels of sugar consumption are linked to greater risk of death from heart disease.
"Too much sugar does not just make us fat; it can also make us sick," professor Laura A. Schmidt of the University of California, San Francisco said in a commentary.
Researchers used data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Added sugars were defined as all sugars in processed or prepared foods, such as sugared drinks and grain-based desserts and candy, but not naturally occurring sugars, as in fruits and juices.
The study's 11,733 participants were divided into five groups based on consumption. The lowest group got 9.6 percent of calories from added sugars, compared to 21.3 percent in the highest group.
Those in the highest group were more than twice as likely to die during the follow-up period as those in the lowest group.
The new study shows that "added sugar is not as benign as once promised," Schmidt wrote. - L.A. Times