Everyone in the FoodFacts.com community understands our position on added sugars in our food supply. Sugar is everywhere and takes many forms. Unless we’re preparing meals from scratch at home and using fresh ingredients, we are bound to be consuming more sugar than we’re even aware of. It’s just that prevalent in all kinds of food products.

The latest report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has now stated that Americans are definitely consuming too much sugar – about 13% of the average adult’s total caloric intake is coming from sugar and high fructose corn syrup. This report included data collected on added sugar consumption between 2005 and 2010 for U.S. adults.

These shockingly high levels of sugar consumption were far greater than what would be considered typical for adults. The American Heart Association has been urging consumers to cut the amount of added sugar they are consuming. They’ve reported on the evidence that has accumulated that too much sugar is associated with obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke.

The new CDC report shows that men are consuming more sugar per day than women. But gender differences fall away when looking at sugar consumption as a percentage of daily caloric intake. On average, men consumed 12.7% of daily calories from added sugar as compared to 13.2% for women. Those between the ages of 20 and 39 consumed the highest amount of added sugar – with over 14% of daily calories coming from sugars. It was also found that calories consumed from sugars decreased with age, with men and women over the age of 60 having the lowest percentage of daily calories from sugar intake.

Researchers noted that most of the added sugars consumed came from foods rather than beverages. In addition, added sugars are not those that occur naturally from foods like fruit or milk.

If you’re a FoodFacts.com member, it’s likely you read ingredient lists and nutrition labels before you purchase products. And it’s also likely that you’re already aware of the copious amounts of sugar that can be found in products that most wouldn’t assume contain them. We can’t emphasize the importance of reading lists and labels for so many reasons. Added sugars are a tremendous concern for our population. Read the labels before you buy. And understand that there really isn’t any reasonable substitute for meals you prepare yourself, in your own kitchen from whole, fresh foods that weren’t processed before they reached your table.