So what foods do we consider treats? Should I even be using that word? Have foods that I once considered treats become a daily part of our diet? For Canadians 35% of our daily sugar intake is coming from so-called Other Foods, which accounts to 7% of our daily calories. Other foods are nutrient-poor foods that don't fall under a food group, such as soft drinks, candy, fruit drinks, and chocolate bars. I am loath to even call them foods, but that is a whole other can of worms.
Enough with the numbers. Below are some pictures to illustrate our intake of sugar from these nutrient poor foods. *Rather than buying 65 pounds of sugar to illustrate my point, I used a 2kg (4.4 pound) bag of sugar and did some photo multiplication. If you have suggestions as to a better way to illustrate that much sugar - I'm all ears, as I'm not entirely satisfied with the end result of my attempt.
Average Canadian's sugar intake from Other Foods such as, soft drinks, candies, chocolate bars, fruit drinks, and added sugar and syrups is around 7.6 tsp per day for a total of 13.9 kg/ year (30.6 pounds). The picture is of 2 kg (4.4 pounds) bags of sugar.
Topping out the charts are those teenage boys aged 14-18 years old who consume 16 teaspoons of sugar from Other Foods per day, resulting in 28.8 kg per year (63.5 pounds).
For the little ones aged 1-3 years. 3.3 teaspoons per day from Other Foods for a total of 6 kg per year (13.2 pounds).
Other Foods for the preschooler and elementary-aged children 4-8 years provides 6.5 teaspoons per day, which equals 11.8 kg/year (26 pounds).
If you are interested in seeing more of the numbers and percentages, my data is from Statistics Canada.
Unfortunately the way they present the data, it is difficult to provide an accurate quantity of sugar per day from specific food sources per sex and age group, such as soft drinks. They do list the top food sources of sugar. For children ages 1-8 years old it is milk. Can you guess what it is for the 9-18 years old? Soft Drinks. Which says to me that they are drinking soft drinks everyday and getting more sugar from soft drinks than fruit. I guess soft drinks aren't considered as treats anymore.
How often do you eat foods that you consider treats? Daily, weekly, monthly? Should I be even using the word treat to describe these foods?