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The average American adult, teenager, and child consumes about 17 teaspoons of added sugar a day, or about 270 calories.  While we sometimes add sugar or sweeteners like honey to food or beverages, most added sugar comes from processed and prepared foods. The leading sources of added sugars in the U.S. diet are sugar-sweetened beverages, desserts, and sweet snacks like ice cream, pastries, and cookies.  Less obvious yet significant contributors are breakfast cereals and yogurt.
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020-2025 advise that all Americans 2 years and older limit added sugars in the diet to less than 10% of total calories. For a 2,000 calorie/day diet, that translates into 200 calories or 50 grams of sugar daily (about 12 teaspoons of sugar). Toddlers and infants younger than 2 years should not be given solids or beverages with any added sugars. 
Sugary drinks are a prime source of extra calories that can contribute to weight gain and provide no nutritional benefits. Studies indicate that liquid carbohydrates such as sugar-sweetened beverages are less filling than solid food, causing people to continue to feel hungry after drinking them despite their high calories.  They are coming under scrutiny for their contributions to the development of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and other chronic conditions. 
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Keeping your blood sugar levels within the range recommended by your doctor can be challenging. That's because many things make your blood sugar levels change, sometimes unexpectedly. Following are some factors that can affect your blood sugar levels.
Learn about carbohydrate counting and portion sizes. A key to many diabetes management plans is learning how to count carbohydrates. Carbohydrates often have the biggest impact on your blood sugar levels. For people taking mealtime insulin, it's important to know the amount of carbohydrates in your food, so you get the proper insulin dose.
Some carbohydrates, such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains, are better for you than others. These foods are low in carbohydrates and have fiber that helps keep your blood sugar levels more stable. Talk to your doctor, nurse or dietitian about the best food choices and the appropriate balance of food types.
Avoid sugar-sweetened beverages. Sugar-sweetened beverages tend to be high in calories and offer little nutrition. And because they cause blood sugar to rise quickly, it's best to avoid these types of drinks if you have diabetes.
The exception is if you are experiencing a low blood sugar level. Sugar-sweetened beverages, such as soda, juice and sports drinks can be used as an effective treatment for quickly raising blood sugar that is too low.
Physical activity is another important part of your diabetes management plan. When you exercise, your muscles use sugar (glucose) for energy. Regular physical activity also helps your body use insulin more efficiently.
Check your blood sugar level. Check your blood sugar level before, during and after exercise, especially if you take insulin or medications that lower blood sugar. Exercise can lower your blood sugar levels even up to a day later, especially if the activity is new to you, or if you're exercising at a more intense level. Be aware of warning signs of low blood sugar, such as feeling shaky, weak, tired, hungry, lightheaded, irritable, anxious or confused.
If you use insulin and your blood sugar level is below 90 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL), or 5.0 millimoles per liter (mmol/L), have a small snack before you start exercising to prevent a low blood sugar level.
Insulin and other diabetes medications are designed to lower your blood sugar levels when diet and exercise alone aren't sufficient for managing diabetes. But the effectiveness of these medications depends on the timing and size of the dose. Medications you take for conditions other than diabetes also can affect your blood sugar levels.
When you're sick, your body produces stress-related hormones that help your body fight the illness, but they also can raise your blood sugar level. Changes in your appetite and normal activity also may complicate diabetes management.
Stick to your diabetes meal plan. If you can, eating as usual will help you control your blood sugar levels. Keep a supply of foods that are easy on your stomach, such as gelatin, crackers, soups and applesauce.
Drink lots of water or other fluids that don't add calories, such as tea, to make sure you stay hydrated. If you're taking insulin, you may need to sip sugar-sweetened beverages, such as juice or a sports drink, to keep your blood sugar level from dropping too low.
The liver normally releases stored sugar to counteract falling blood sugar levels. But if your liver is busy metabolizing alcohol, your blood sugar level may not get the boost it needs from your liver. Alcohol can result in low blood sugar shortly after you drink it and for as long as 24 hours afterward.
If you're stressed, the hormones your body produces in response to prolonged stress may cause a rise in your blood sugar level. Additionally, it may be harder to closely follow your usual diabetes management routine if you're under a lot of extra pressure.
This guideline provides updated global, evidence-informed recommendations on the intake of free sugars to reduce the risk of NCDs in adults and children, with a particular focus on the prevention and control of unhealthy weight gain and dental caries.
The recommendations in this guideline can be used by policy-makers and programme managers to assess current intake levels of free sugars in their countries relative to a benchmark. They can also be used to develop measures to decrease intake of free sugars, where necessary, through a range of public health interventions. Examples of such interventions and measures that are already being implemented by countries include food and nutrition labelling, consumer education, regulation of marketing of food and non-alcoholic beverages that are high in free sugars, and fiscal policies targeting foods and beverages that are high in free sugars.
Diet-related diseases are among the leading causes of death in the U.S.. The typical American diet is high in sodium and added sugars, which can negatively impact health. In the U.S., more than two-thirds of adults and nearly one-third of children have overweight or obesity. About one-third of adults have high blood pressure. These conditions increase the risk for preventable illness, such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke and some cancers.
The National Salt and Sugar Reduction Initiative (NSSRI) is a partnership of organizations and health authorities from across the country (PDF), convened by the NYC Health Department. The initiative sets voluntary reduction targets for sugar and salt and asks food and beverage companies to commit to meeting them.
The NSSRI released two rounds of preliminary sugar categories and draft targets for technical comment in 2018 and 2019. In February 2021 the initiative released its targets for sugar reduction across 15 categories of foods and beverages.
After reviewing and integrating two rounds of industry comments, the initiative revised the categories and targets (PDF) and set sugar reduction targets that are gradual and achievable. Industry feedback has helped inform the categories and targets.
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Importance Epidemiologic studies have suggested that higher intake of added sugar is associated with cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors. Few prospective studies have examined the association of added sugar intake with CVD mortality.
Objective To examine time trends of added sugar consumption as percentage of daily calories in the United States and investigate the association of this consumption with CVD mortality.
Conclusions and Relevance Most US adults consume more added sugar than is recommended for a healthy diet. We observed a significant relationship between added sugar consumption and increased risk for CVD mortality. 781b155fdc