Eating too much added sugar over time is linked to serious health problems, including obesity, tooth decay and chronic diseases such as Heart Disease, Type 2 Diabetes and Liver Disease.
Over the last few centuries, life expectancy has risen steadily with each generation. But our sugar-laden world could undo that.
This generation of children is on track to have shorter life-spans than their parents, due to poor diet.
How much sugar are Australians currently consuming?
- On average Australians consume between 14-16 teaspoons of added sugars a day.
- With a 600ml bottle of soft drink containing 16 teaspoons of sugar, if you're consuming a bottle each day that's the equivalent to consuming 23kg of sugar from soft drinks alone per year.
- The top 10% of teenage boys are consuming 38 teaspoons of sugar a day.
- 14-18 year-old boys consume an average 22 teaspoons of sugar a day.
How much should I be aiming for?
The World Health Organisation (WHO) says we should be limiting our added sugar intake to 6 teaspoons per day for optimal health. Learn How to Spot Added Sugar here or more about the science on our resources page.
Sugar and your body
Too much added sugar is costing our dental health too. More and more toddlers in Australia are having their baby teeth surgically removed.
WATCH: Jamie’s Sugar Rush - Six year old Mario is having his teeth pulled
“Tooth decay is somewhat of a silent epidemic in Australia. With around 1 in 2 children having tooth decay in their adult teeth by the age of 12, it is far and away the most prevalent disease affecting our children, and tooth decay rates have increased more than 60% over the past 12 years, yet we don’t hear enough about it. And despite being preventable, all too often there are young children having teeth filled or extracted to treat the consequences of decay. Reducing the amount of sugar that we eat is one of the best ways we can help kids to have healthy teeth for life.” - Clinical Associate Professor Matthew Hopcraft, Sugar-free Smiles
Diseases like diabetes and heart disease are expected to hit the baby boomer generation at around age 60-65. But for our overweight teens, it is likely that these diseases will hit 5 to 10 years earlier. What’s more worrying is we’re seeing a rise of what were previously adult-onset diseases, like Type 2 diabetes, in young people.
Today, 280 Australians will be diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, that’s one person every five minutes
Life isn’t just about how long we live, either. It’s about our ability to do the things we love and enjoy life. Diabetes can result in devastating complications, like amputations, blindness, kidney failure and stroke.
WATCH: Jamie’s Sugar Rush - Diabetes can affect anyone
We have a serious problem when it comes to the amount of sugar in our food supply. Lots of added sugar is hiding in foods we think are healthy.
We are eating way too much added sugar, often without realising it. It’s easy to see how:
WATCH: That Sugar Film - Damon's first breakfast
It’s not too late to protect your kids from poor health and a shortened lifespan.
Join us and together we can raise awareness and take action to protect current and future generations from obesity, tooth decay, Type 2 diabetes and heart disease.