Curriculum & Resources: Sugar Consumption Infographic's jaw-dropping infographic on sugar consumption reveals the not-so-sweet truth—Americans eat way too much sugar. Data visualization puts the statistics into context.

Nursing Your Sweet Tooth


Created by:’s eye-catching infographic tells the not-so-sweet truth: Americans eat way too much sugar. Since 1990, sugar intake has increased by 40 lbs. a year, and the obesity rate has increased by 20 percent. The American Heart Association recommends no more than 9.5 teaspoons of sugar a day. The average adult consumes 22 teaspoons, while the average child takes in 32 teaspoons.

The data visualization in this infographic puts the statistics into context. Learning that the average American will consume 3,500 pounds of sugar in his lifetime—the equivalent of 1,767,900 Skittles—is a you-better-believe-it fact. The list of short and long-term health risks, like obesity, acne, and diabetes, is frightening.

So, is this new knowledge enough to change your students’ behavior? This is an opportunity to brainstorm ways to consume less sugar and talk about why their lives depend on it. For a lively debate, consider discussing New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s soda ban. The ban, which prohibits the sale of sweetened drinks 16 oz. and larger at restaurants, movie theaters, and sports arenas, is intended to reduce obesity rates.

What do you your students think? Fat chance or slim chance that the soda ban will make a difference?


EXPLORE: blog on sugar

READ: NYTimes article on Bloomberg soda ban