How much sugar do people in Europe consume?
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Sugar provides quick energy in the form of glucose, which is used by the body for immediate use or stored for later use. It also contributes to the taste of food and drinks. However, consuming too much sugar can lead to a range of negative health effects, such as weight gain, increased risk of tooth decay and elevated blood sugar levels, which can increase the risk of developing certain chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes.
Europeans and North Americans are some of the biggest consumers of sugar in the world. Within Europe, there are also some specific geographical patterns. Sugar consumption is highest in western and central Europe. Belgium (48.3 kg) has the highest per capita sugar consumption in Europe and one of the highest in the world. We also saw before that Belgium is also the biggest consumer of sugar-sweetened soft drinks in Europe. Poland (45.7 kg), Malta (43.8 kg) and Denmark (40.4 kg) are the only other European countries where the sugar consumption is over 40 kilograms per capita.
The lowest numbers can be found in Luxembourg (10.8 kg), which is a massive difference compared to its neighbours. Cyprus (17.6 kg), Bosnia and Herzegovina (18.3 kg), Albania (18.6 kg), Slovenia (19.4 kg) and Latvia (19.9 kg) all have a per capita sugar consumption below 20 kilograms.
The data for this map comes from the FAO. The data includes not only raw sugar, but also the sugar content of products that contain sugar.