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Too Sweet a Nation

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Too Sweet a Nation

Muffins

Photo: Páll Stefánsson.

Consumption of soft drinks is excessive in Iceland, and that partly explains our large consumption of sugar, according to a new report on food supply in Iceland from the Directorate of Health. Last year, the supply of sugar in Iceland was 42 kilos (92 lbs) per person, which is six kilos less than the previous year.

Although the report does not directly offer information on food consumption, it does give indications regarding the development of the nation’s diet.

Last year was the only entire year in which additional taxes were put on sugar and sugar products. Annual sugar consumption in Iceland exceeds that of Norway and Finland by 12-14 kilos per person. The supply of soft drinks was 133 liters per person last year, or 2.5 liters (2.6 quarts) per week―a decrease from previous years. That amounts to 93 liters more per year than among Finns.

The supply of sweets holds steady from year to year, or close to 18 kilos per person a year, or 350 grams per week. The Directorate recommends healthy snacks, such as nuts, seeds and fruits.

Research has shown a large consumption of sugar increases the likelihood of obesity and tooth decay. Excessive consumption of soft drinks can also increase the likelihood of diabetes 2. Water is recommended for thirst.

There has been an increase in the supply of vegetables, a decrease in the supply of milk, while the consumption of fat is on the rise.

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