When it comes to sugar, Americans need to be a lot more careful, a study finds. Even two cans of soda a day can significantly boost the risk of death from heart disease. If a quarter of your daily caloric intake comes from added sugar—in processed foods, for instance—your risk of death from heart disease could be triple the risk faced by someone who gets less than 10% of her calories from sugar. What could get you to the 25% level? The AP give this example: a breakfast cinnamon roll, a super-sized soda at lunch, and ice cream after dinner. About 10% of adults hit that level; between 2005 and 2010, Americans got an average 15% of their calories from added sugar, Bloomberg notes.
Researchers led by a CDC expert found that the dangers from sugar weren't just due to obesity: The threat exists for people of normal weight. The study reviewed national health surveys between 1988 and 2010; the researchers investigated data on some 30,000 people. Soda and other sugary drinks are the main problem, accounting for some 37% of the added sugar in an American diet. Desserts and fruit drinks make up much of the rest. (Sugars found naturally in fruits and vegetables weren't classified as "added sugar.") Says an expert who write an editorial accompanying the study in JAMA Internal Medicine, "Too much sugar does not just make us fat; it can also make us sick." (More sugar stories.)