Too much sugar: modern diets are awash in the sweet stuff

Too much sugar: modern diets are awash in the sweet stuff »Play Video

UNDATED - How much sugar are you putting into your body every day?
What about your child?
Consider this: Before you reach for that can of soda, visualize adding 10 teaspoons of sugar to a 12-ounce glass of water.

If you drink a can of Coke every now and again, that's exactly what you're drinking: 39 grams of sugar.

Sugar is everywhere: take a closer look at what else adults typically eat each day. A sample menu for an average adult could include these common items:

  • Coffee with sugar and cream and a pack of instant oatmeal equals 26 grams of sugar at breakfast.
  • A turkey sandwich, chips, and a coke adds another 42 grams of sugar for lunch.
  • Half a chocolate bar and an apple at midday? Add 25 grams.
  • Dinner time? How about spaghetti with meat sauce, a glass of wine, and a salad with ranch dressing. That adds 23 grams of sugar.

And don't forget dessert:  Just two Oreo cookies has another 14 grams of sugar

Total for the day? 130 grams sugar.

What about what a child eats? Here’s a typical menu:

  • Honey Nut Cheerios with milk and some apple juice totals adds up to 45 grams of sugar right out of the gate.
  • If yogurt is the snack, that's another 40 grams.
  • Maybe lunch is a slice of cheese pizza, some fries with ketchup, salad with ranch and chocolate milk, all of which equals another 37 grams of sugar.
  • A granola bar for a snack with some juice is yet another 35 grams.
  • Dinner is spaghetti, some bread and carrots - about 25-grams. And then: the two Oreo cookies for dessert adds another 14 grams of sugar.

If this sounds like your child, then he or she is taking in nearly 200 grams of sugar every day – more than most adults.

“If you were to just eliminate the one sugar soda drink or one fruit juice, which is laden with extra sugar, you’d be taking out 150 calories of pure sugar in your diet a day and throughout the year,” nutritional expert Courtney Jackson told KATU News. “That adds up to a significant amount of excess calories and weight.”

According to the American Heart Association, women should not have more than 5-6 teaspoons of added sugar a day - about 20 grams.

For men, it's about 9 teaspoons.

To start down-sizing your sugar intake, obviously eliminate the soda and the juice.

From there, be aware of what you’re eating and drinking, and try little adjustments throughout the day.

Get more information here.

Expanded adult and child menu information:

Typical Adult Daily Menu:

Breakfast:  12 ounces coffee with 2 tsp sugar (approximately 8 grams sugar)  and 2 TBSP  Silk French Vanilla Cream (approx. 6 grams sugar), 1 packet QUAKER, Instant Oatmeal, apples and cinnamon, dry  (approx 12  grams sugar)
Breakfast sugar count:  26 grams

Lunch:  Sandwich (usually something to-go) on white or wheat bread (approx. 2 grams sugar) with mayo, mustard, cheese, veggies, turkey (no sugar).  Potato chips (usually no sugar).  Diet coke (no sugar, versus 35-40 grams sugar in regular soda).
Lunch sugar count:  2-42 grams

Snack:  ½ Hershey’s Dark Chocolate bar (approx 12 grams added sugar), apple (13 grams)
Snack sugar count:  25 grams

Dinner:  Pasta with 1 cup spaghetti sauce (approx 22 grams sugar) and ground meat (no added sugar).  A glass of wine or a 12 oz beer (0 Sugar).  Premixed salad(no added sugar) with 2 TBSP Ranch Dressing (approx 1 gram sugar).
Dinner sugar count:  23 grams

Dessert:  2 Oreo cookies (approx. 14 grams of added sugar)
Dessert sugar count:  14 grams

Daily Total for Adult Menu:  90-130 grams sugar (40 more grams with soda), 360-520 calories from sugar

Typical Child Daily Menu Age 6-10

Breakfast:   ¾ cup Honey Nut Cheerios (9 grams sugar) with 1 Cup Milk (12 grams sugar), 1 cup apple juice (all natural sugar, but 24 grams of sugar per serving!  Versus 1 whole apple, which has 13 grams of natural sugar)
Total Breakfast Sugar:  45 grams

Snack:  Fruity Yogurt (up to 30-45 grams of sugar per 6 oz serving)
Total Snack Sugar:  40 grams sugar

Lunch:  Slice of Cheese Pizza, French fries (0 sugar) with 4 packets of ketchup  (12 grams of sugar), and small salad with Ranch (1-2 grams of sugar) from school,  1 cup chocolate milk (24 grams of sugar versus 12 grams in whole regular milk)
Total Lunch Sugar: 37 grams sugar

Snack:  Granola bar (approx. 7-12 grams of sugar), apple/orange/banana, Grape/Pear Juice Blend (25 grams sugar per 8 ounces versus 1 cup of grapes which has 15 grams of sugar)
Total Snack Sugar:  35 grams sugar

Dinner:  Spaghetti with 1 cup Marinara Sauce (22 grams of sugar).  Bread (2 grams sugar) and butter.  Baby Carrots (1 gram sugar).
Total Dinner Sugar:  25 grams

Dessert:  2 Oreo cookies (approx. 14 grams of added sugar)
Dessert sugar count:  14 grams

Total Daily Sugar for Kids Menu:  196 grams sugar, 784 calories