The average American might eat the equivalent of 20 teaspoons of sugar a day, according to figures from the most recent federal Continuing Survey of Food Intakes by Individuals (1994-1996/Results [pdf]). Nearly 60 percent of this intake, according to The Sugar Association, is from corn sweeteners (in sodas and drinks). Another 40 percent is from sucrose (table sugar), and a small amount comes from honey and molasses.
Humans naturally have an appetite for sweet food, but in excess, sugary foods can result in concentrated calories and excess eating, which adds up to surplus calories. In order to lose weight, the total calories from foods, especially those with lots of calories from sugars as well as fats, must be decreased and physical activity increased. Many people choose sugar substitutes to control calories.
The American Diabetes Association calls sugar substitutes “free foods” because they make food taste sweet, but they have essentially no calories and do not raise blood sugar levels.