It rots your teeth, wrecks your heart and even causes mood swings - yet a typical family eats an astonishing FIFTY POUNDS of sugar a month. So what happened when we asked one household to end its addiction?
We are a nation of sugar junkies: sugar now makes up more than 30 per cent of the average diet, three times the recommended intake set by the World Health Organisation. Many of us scoff 150lb of pure sugar a year, that's more than 12lb of sugar in a month. The typical family might have 52lb a month - the equivalent of 26 large bags of sugar.
And the toll on our health is devastating. As well as causing dental decay. Too much sugar can lead to obesity and type 2 diabetes, raising the risk of heart attack and stroke. According to Jane Clarke, the Mail's nutritionist, sugar is the real dietary evil. "It is much worse than fat - it has so little in its favour nutritionally and it's very hard for the body to tell when it's had enough; you can just keep eating and eating it. The problem is compounded by the fact that it's 'hidden' in so many foods, including even frozen pizza, so many of us are eating more than we suspect."
And it's affecting more than just our health. As Dr Alex Richardson, a leading authority on how nutrition affects children's conduct and learning, explains:
"Although there is no definitive evidence that sugar causes bad behaviour in children, many experts have noticed a pattern that can build over time. Highly refined, sweetened foods dump sugar too quickly into the bloodstream, delivering no nutrients but causing blood sugar levels to rise very quickly.