Sugar, Sugar

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More than 81 percent of American households purchase sugar, according to ACNielsen, but some like life sweeter than others. Singles are least likely to have a full sugar bowl. Singles under age 35 spend 72 percent less than expected on sugar, while singles aged 35 to 54 spend 58 percent less than expected. Senior singles aged 55 and older spend 55 percent less than expected.

The sweetest households are those with children. Households with kids aged 6 to 17 spend 60 percent more than expected, while those with teens spend 41 percent more. Most parents would prefer that their kids didn't use any sugar at all, but a sugar-free universe is only a dream. Domestic demand for sugar is increasing. Americans are eating more candy and other confectionery products than ever before, and many reformulated low-fat products use added sugar as flavor enhancers. Even parents who look for "all natural, sugar-free" products for their children have discovered that the sugar is replaced by fruit juices, which are high in natural sugars.

Sugar is one of the foods that has undergone a "Jekyll and Hyde" transformation over the past few years. Nutritional anxiety prompted a widespread sugar-free era, but recent articles extolling the virtues of "real" sugar--in moderation, of course--have helped to reinstate sugar as a kitchen staple, along with butter and eggs.

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