A Cup of Sugar Helps the Economy Go Up





Food preferences continue to evolve in society and can suggest political and economic trends, as advocated by Mintz’s article, “Time, Sugar, and Sweetness.” As discussed in class, Mintz’s discussion of sugar consumption trends reflect how society does not innately have a sweet tooth but rather our palettes have changed due to exogenous societal factors. Sugar has shifted from medicinal purposes to a luxury status to a commonly accepted element of most foods. beverages, and candies.

An article published in Forbes, “How Much Sugar Are Americans Eating?” explores how sugar consumption trends have shifted in the United States despite the rising negative effects such as cancer and Type II diabetes. High sugar levels are appearing in sports drinks, of which children are the primary advertising target. Forbes republished an infographic (originally created by OnlineNursingPrograms.com) which powerfully demonstrated the level of sugar consumption in our society, as seen below.

Forbes Sugar Infographic


Some of the most powerful statistics by the infographic include, “Americans consume about 130 lbs of sugar every year” and the claim that sugar is as addictive as cocaine. Sugar is no longer an aid for medicines, but rather the backbone of the American economy, as it is linked to our consumption habits.



Mintz, Sidney W. “Time, Sugar, and Sweetness.” In Carole Counihan and Penny Van Esterik, 2007. Food and Culture: A Reader, 2nd Edition. Routledge.

Walton, Alice. “How Much Sugar Are Americans Eating? [Infographic].” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 30 Aug. 2012. Web. 23 Jan. 2014. <http://www.forbes.com/sites/alicegwalton/2012/08/30/how-much-sugar-are-americans-eating-infographic/>.