The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends a daily intake of utmost 25 grams (5.75 tsp) of sugar per person for improved health. But, is this the case in most countries? It's certainly not. To explain this, we will look at a few examples of sugar consumption by country to know to what extent countries adhere to or offend this regulation.
Sugar Consumption In The U.S.
The United States is the biggest consumer of sugar on the globe. According to sources, the country's per capita sugar consumption is 126.4 grams daily. That translates to more than ten times the lowest recommended intake of 11grams per day. According to health scientists, a significant percentage of this sugar is contained in these Americans' foods and beverages. And these added sugars may take different forms, including white/ brown sugar, honey, high fructose corn syrup, sucrose, dextrose, molasses, etc.
Though the federal government urged Americans to limit the amount added to only 10%, the effect of this recommendation has remained insignificant up to date.
Germany is the second-largest consumer of sugar in the world. According to the Washington Post, an average German citizen would consume 102.9 grams of sugar daily.
Like the case in the U.S., a significant percentage of this sugar is contained in processed foods like sweets, desserts, cakes, cookies, beverages, etc.
The National Library Of Medicine indicates that about ¾ of the sugar in the country is utilized in production firms, especially those dealing with sweets and beverages. This means sugar consumption in the country is not going to reduce anytime soon.
The Netherlands comes third on our list. Sources indicate that the per capita sugar consumption is 102.5 grams per day, doubling the WHO's recommended amount of 50 grams. According to the National Library of Medicine (NLM), the main foods accounting for the high sugar intake in the Netherlands include non-alcoholic beverages, cakes, cookies, candy, sweets, dairy, chocolates and other sweet foods. The NLM further indicates that very few people adhere to the WHO guidelines on low sugar intake of less than 5% of total energy.
Ireland is the fourth largest consumer of sugar globally, with a per capita consumption rate of 96.7 grams per day. A vast percentage of this sugar is contained in processed foods like juices, sugary sports drinks, cookies, sweets, cakes, doughnuts, jellies, chocolates, ice creams, etc.
Though the Irish people are known for their uncontrolled craving for sweet things (sugar culture), some consume added sugar in seemingly healthy food out of ignorance. The headstuff blames the food processors for failing to include the sugar content in their foods.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the country's per capita sugar consumption rate is 60 grams per day. This translates to 14 teaspoons, exceeding the recommended level by WHO.
Like other countries discussed above, a significant percentage of this sugar is consumed in foods and beverages like energy drinks, electrolytes, fruit and vegetable juices, cordial, cakes and muffins.