The American Heart Association would like to see Americans cut excess pounds, and it has issued a scientific statement urging adults to cut back on sugar. This is a rather radical recommendation, since the science linking sugar to obesity is not airtight. Data suggest that American adults average about 355 calories a day from sugar, though. Sugar offers no other nutrients beyond calories, so the AHA suggests that women limit their sugar to no more than 100 calories daily and men limit their intake to 150 calories worth of sugar or less. That is the equivalent of nine teaspoons of sugar.
With 130 calories from sugar in a 12-ounce can of cola, dietary habits will have to change a lot to meet these guidelines. The American Heart Association says its recommendation is not meant to cover sugar found naturally in vegetables, fruits or dairy products, only the sugar that is added during processing. Soft drinks, candy, cakes, cookies and pies provide the lion’s share of added sugar in the American diet.