There’s no question that Americans eat a lot of candy. When it comes to world candy popularity, America is tough to beat. In fact, the average American eats almost 25 pounds of candy a year, half of which comes from chocolate bars. This translates to about one per week.
But when compared to the rest of the world, is America where people eat the most sugar? If you’ve ever been curious about world candy consumption statistics, read on.
The continent with the highest candy consumption is actually Europe, which is responsible for about half of the world’s candy consumption, as opposed to about a third for North America. However, one has to consider how many larger countries there are in Europe.
The Swiss eat a lot of candy, about 24 pounds per year — not far off from the Americans. Of course, the Swiss are famous for chocolate, and most of their total candy consumption comes from that. Germany and the U.K. also clock in at about 24 pounds of candy per year.
Contrast this with Asian countries like India and China, where candy consumption stats are much lower. The average Indian eats only about 6 ounces of candy every year, while the Chinese eat even less, about 3.5 ounces. That’s about two chocolate bars a year!
But what does this tell us about where people eat the most sugar? As you might guess, sugar consumption and candy consumption are pretty closely correlated. The average American leads the way, consuming over 126 grams of sugar daily. Germany is not far behind — their citizens eat about 103 grams of sugar a day. Coming in at just under that are the Dutch, where the average person enjoys 102.5 grams of sugar per day.
At the low end, as you would expect, it’s the Asian countries. The Chinese consume only 16 grams a day, Indonesians a little over 15 grams and Indians, only 5 grams a day on average.
So, what does this all mean? One thing it means is that sugar and candy, especially chocolate, are staples of the Western diet. Is there anything wrong with that? Well, the World Health Organization recommends that people consume no more than 25 to 50 grams of sugar a day.
That’s a lot less than the average sugar consumption! But before you worry too much, though, remember, this: No matter where in the world you live, some candy is okay, as long as you enjoy it in moderation. Candy is meant to be a treat, and it should be enjoyed as just that — a little something special you reward yourself with every once in a while, or for a special occasion. As much as we might enjoy it, eating it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner is not a good idea.
People all around the world can agree that candy is great, and as long as we are careful to keep track of our candy and consume it in the right amounts, we can enjoy it without guilt.