A new consumer survey of 4,000 adults in 20 U.S. cities finds that nearly 25 percent of those who use sugar add six or more teaspoons of sugar to their foods and beverages each day. This does not even include added sugars in processed foods and beverages. The survey was conducted by Yankelovich for SPLENDA®, the only no calorie sweetener made from sugar, so it tastes like sugar.

Sweetest Cities Named

The “sweetest” cities in the survey were ranked according to sugar consumption. Leading the list is New Orleans, Louisiana — followed by Charlotte, NC; Philadelphia, PA; Detroit, MI; Dallas/Fort Worth, TX; Atlanta, GA and Kansas City, MO (tied for sixth place); Tampa, FL; Phoenix, AZ; Cincinnati, OH; and New York, NY. Among sugar users in these cities, on average, one in five consume six or more teaspoons of sugar each day.

The Scoop on Sugar Intake

Recently revised USDA Dietary Guidelines advise the public to: “Choose beverages and foods to moderate your intake of sugars.” Yet more than 30 percent of adults polled say they resent having to pass up dessert to limit their sugar intake and one-third say that during the holiday season they plan to eat as many sweets as they want and worry about it later.

Forty-eight percent of sugar users say they are concerned about the amount of sugar they consume and three-quarters believe that there is a connection between eating sugar and gaining weight, but apparently very few are doing anything about reducing their sugar consumption. Some consumers say they use as much as 20 teaspoons of sugar a day.

The Lowdown on Sweeteners

When it comes to taking simple steps to reduce sugar consumption, the survey finds that many people overlook the option of using low calorie sweeteners. Specifically, the survey showed that two in five consumers — 36 percent — use low calorie sweeteners.

“There’s a lot of confusion among consumers about low calorie sweeteners,” says Dr. Barbara Levine, Associate Professor of Nutrition in Medicine at Weill Medical College of Cornell University and Co-Director of the Human Nutrition Program at The Rockefeller University. “A lot of people are unaware that there are new alternatives that can help moderate sugar consumption. Now Americans have a brand new choice that’s ideal for the whole family.”

New to supermarkets nationwide, SPLENDA® offers consumers that choice. It can be used virtually anywhere sugar is used — including cooking and baking.

According to Dr. Levine, sucralose, which is sold under the brand name SPLENDA®, is made from sugar, so it tastes like sugar. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved sucralose in 1998 on the basis of more than 100 safety studies conducted over a 20-year period. Only 16 months later, in August 1999, it received approval as a general-purpose sweetener, which means it can be used in any food or beverage.

SPLENDA® is manufactured and marketed by McNeil Specialty Products Company, a Johnson & Johnson Company. SPLENDA® will be available for the first time at retail stores in five sizes ranging from individual packets to granular boxes with the sweetness equivalent of one and two pounds of sugar. SPLENDA® is priced at approximately $2.50 to $3.50 for the granular boxes and $2.50 to $7 for boxes of gold packets in 50, 100 and 200 quantity.

Findings are from a survey of 4,000 American adults, conducted by Yankelovich Partners and funded by McNeil Specialty Products Company, a Johnson & Johnson Company (NYSE: JNJ).

Approximately 200 adults were surveyed between August 17 and September 6, 2000 in each of these metropolitan markets — Atlanta, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Cincinnati, Dallas/Fort Worth, Denver, Detroit, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Miami, Nashville, New Orleans, New York, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Francisco, St. Louis, Tampa, Washington, D.C.