Washington — While the USDA reports American sugar consumption has decreased 35 percent in the past 42 years, the results of a 2013 Harris Interactive Poll show 75 percent of parents believe sugar consumption has actually increased.
Similarly, parents overestimate the amount of calories in sugar — 71 percent say they believe there are 20 or more calories in one teaspoon and nearly 30 percent say there are more than 100 calories, according to the survey sponsored by The Sugar Association. Only seven percent of survey participants chose the correct answer of 15 calories in one teaspoon of sugar.
Although 85 percent of parents surveyed say they believe all-natural foods are healthier than those containing artificial ingredients and 86 percent responded that the type of artificial sweetener used in their children's food is at least somewhat important, only 45 percent read ingredient statements. Similarly, a 2010 Harris Poll survey found 52 percent of parents attempt to avoid artificial sweeteners, but were unable to identify common chemical sweeteners used by food manufacturers.