Americans are addicted to sugar. On average we each consumed 130 pounds of the stuff in 2012. To get an idea of just how much that is, check out Jamie Oliver’s wheelbarrow demonstration in his TED talk on the importance of food and nutrition education.
The beautiful and eye-opening infographic below, created by Online Nursing Programs, highlights just how severe the addiction has become. It points to how much sugar our favorite foods actually contain, as well as the health risks that come from refined sugar–from acne to obesity. And if the 1,700 percent increase in sugar consumption from 1822 to 2000 doesn’t quite drive the point home, the infographic also suggests that due to the way it effects the brain, sugar can be equally as addicting as cocaine.
The good news is that consumption of soda, the number one source of added sugar, recently decreased among children and adults. And while the obesity epidemic has rapidly swallowed our nation, recent statistics also show decreased rates of childhood obesity, which could indicate the start of a larger, much-needed shift in public health, one that diminishes our nation’s collective sweet tooth.