How much sugar do you consume?

I watched John Oliver’s most recent show, the one where he talked about how much sugar we eat. The average American consumes 75 pounds a year, he said, which is INSANE. I thought since I’m a vegetarian, who eats mostly vegetables, and only one desert a day, a very small cup of yogurt ice cream, which I know has added sugar but how much could it have? And I understand that everything has added sugar, but when all is said and done, I can’t be eating all that much sugar, can I??

I can. I eat the same things all the time so calculating my consumption for a year was easy: 30 pounds. Certainly less than the average American, but still INSANE. When I picture 30 bags of sugar my mind just explodes. 30 pounds! The thing is, if I cut out that daily yogurt, and the Amy’s Pizza I just love, my sugar consumption would go down drastically, but I’m not prepared to do that. Except, it looks like I’m killing myself (just read that Times piece about sugar).

I could also switch the Fage yogurt I eat in the morning to plain, with fruit mixed in, but I hate the taste of yogurt otherwise. I’m not sure fruit will do the trick. But I have to start somewhere, I guess.

Another pretty place to live, in the West Village, New York City.

West Village, New York City

Stacy Horn

I've written six non-fiction books, the most recent is Damnation Island: Poor, Sick, Mad, and Criminal in 19th-Century New York.

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5 thoughts on “How much sugar do you consume?

  1. I have grown to love the taste of plain yogurt, as long as it is not “no fat”. Get some really nice yogurt, like Astro Balkan style, so it is not all runny. Then you can mix in what you like, including granola. Take me back to the ’70s! As a vegetarian for ethical reasons, I have problems with the dairy and egg industry, so it is hard to find ethical milk products and eggs. Since Astro doesn’t brag about where it gets its milk, I suppose it isn’t very ethical either. But we can only do so much. And every little bit helps.

  2. I have to look for the Astro Balkan style. The plain yogurt I bought has 8 grams of sugar. I couldn’t find one without sugar! The one that advertised “no sugar added” had 5 grams! I guess they’re saying yogurt has sugar naturally?

  3. “Sugar” is a tricky thing. It depends on how you define it and what your labelling laws are. Lactose is a milk sugar, but it is not “added”. Always check the ingredients list – I believe in North America anyway, manufacturers are required to list all ingredients. It doesn’t have to be “Astro” brand either, but the “Balkan style” tends to be firm, or “set style” and so for me, more appealing than runny stuff. But then you have to look out for added gelatin if you are a vegetarian. I am familiar with the difficulties in trying to eat health and ethically!

  4. Are Balkan and “Greek” yogurts the same?
    Now I have to carefully examine, once again, the ingredients of my no fat “Greek” yogurts, since I buy two or three brands depending on price (Ciobani, Dannon. Stonybrook Fields) sic….

    And I’m going to calculate how much sugar I consume in a year. I buy about 4 pounds (which I share with others) but…

  5. It’s insane how much sugar I consume, given that I don’t ever buy sugar and never add it to anything myself. So I’m getting all I’m getting from others adding it!

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