Trend in Canada and United States Added Sugars Consumption (1994-2014) Canada United States
Loss Adjusted Availability, grams/person/day
1994 79.69 104.0
1995 76.36 105.7
1996 77.07 107.3
1997 77.07 109.5
1998 73.65 110.7
1999 73.98 112.2
2000 74.24 110.3
2001 74.29 108.8
2002 74 108.3
2003 73.68 105.1
2004 72.9 105.1
2005 70.02 105.5
2006 68.04 103.2
2007 64.04 100.4
2008 66.47 100.6
2009 65.70 97.0
2010 65.09 98.1
2011 63.70 96.3
2012 60.69 95.8
2013 62.04 95.0
2014 61.47 95.7

Data source: Canada: Statistics Canada, CANSIM. Adjusted for waste using updated USDA Loss-Adjusted Food Availability. United States: USDA, Caloric sweeteners: Per capita availability adjusted for loss.

Consumption of added sugars in Canada has been declining over the past 20 years, mainly reflecting a decline in caloric soft drink consumption. "Added sugars" include all sugars, corn syrups, honey, and maple syrup added to foods and beverages. It does not include sugars that naturally occur in fruits, vegetables, and dairy products. It is estimated that Canadians consume approximately 11% of their energy (calories) as added sugars, equivalent to about 53 g of added sugars per person per day. This is considered a moderate amount and well below the suggested maximum of 25% in the Dietary Reference Intakes that form the basis of Canada's dietary guidance. This is also very close to the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommended intake of 10% free sugars based on the WHO review of research in relation to tooth decay. In Canada, the effective use of fluoride continues to be the most effective public health approach to the prevention of tooth decay. 

When people are looking for an estimate of sugar intake, they may mistakenly quote statistics called "per capita disappearance" or "sugar available for consumption" (reported as kilograms of sugar per person per year). This "disappearance" data is a measure of the amount of sugar produced in Canada plus imports minus exports, divided by the population of Canada. These numbers over time are helpful to follow trends but do not tell us how much sugar Canadians are actually eating. Rather, they substantially overestimate actual intake because they include sugars wasted or used up in the process of making foods (e.g., bread, wine). Wastage occurs at the retail, restaurant/institutional and household levels including cooking, storage, and plate losses, as well as non-food usage of sugars.

US sugar consumption statistics are also often quoted in the media and scientific papers. These are misleading because Canadian consumption of added sugars is much lower, about 1/3 less than US levels, due mainly to lower soft drink intake in Canada (about half of US consumption). 

Comparison of Canadian and US Consumption
Population Average per person per day (Added sugars estimated)
(CCHS 2004)
(NHANES 2003-04)
Total Calories 2073 Calories 2195 Calories
Total sugars (grams) - natural and added 110 g 133 g
Added sugars (grams)* 55 g 88 g
Added sugars (Calories) 220 Calories 352 Calories
Added sugars (tsp) 13 tsp 21 tsp
Added sugars (% Calories) 10.7% 15.9%

*Added sugars estimates:

Canada: Brisbois TD, Marsden S, Anderson GH, Sievenpiper JL. Estimated intakes and sources of total and added sugars in the Canadian diet. Nutrients. 2014;6(5):1899-1912.

United States: Welsh JA, Sharma AJ, Grellinger L, Vos MB. Consumption of added sugars is decreasing in the United States. Am J Clin Nutr. 2011;94:726-734.

For more details on sugars consumption, please see: