One sweet nation
Here are some facts about Americans' infatuation with sugar and syrup:
In 1967, Americans ate 114 pounds of sugar and sweeteners a year per capita, nearly all of it as either raw or refined sugar. In 2003, each person consumed about 142 pounds of sugar per year.
Since high-fructose corn syrup was developed more than 30 years ago, consumption of the sweetener, which flavors everything from soda pop to ranch dressing, has skyrocketed. Now Americans down about 61 pounds a year each.
Since 1950, soft-drink consumption per capita has quadrupled, from about 11 gallons per year to about 46 gallons in 2003--nearly a gallon a week per person.
With all that sugar-eating, it's no wonder people don't have much room for their vegetables. In 2003, Americans consumed, on average, a dismal 8.3 pounds of broccoli and just over 25 pounds of dark lettuces (the kinds that are really good for you).
This story appears in the March 28, 2005 print edition of U.S. News & World Report.