I recently finished a biography of William Wilberforce. Wilberforce was a member of British parliament in the early 1800s. He was one of the driving forces behind the abolition of the slave trade.
Reading this book raised many thoughts for me. But today one came to the fore.
After lunch I was craving sugar. I wanted a cookie, soda, cake … whatever, I’m not picky. I resisted, but it brought to mind a statistic from the book that shocked me. I had to find it again on the Internet since the book isn’t handy. In 1793 the average person in England consumed 11.75 lbs of sugar a year. As of 1990 the average person in the United States consumes 100 lbs a year.
To put this in perspective I did a little math. 11.75 lbs of sugar would make 118 cans of soda (more or less). That is roughly 2 cans of soda a week and no other refined sugar. Wow! I can’t imagine having that little sugar in my diet, although there is no doubt it would improve my weight. And to think that that average amount of sugar is actually quite high for the majority of the English population in 1793, because most sugar was consumed by the Upper Class.
Well, I will leave the drawing of conclusions up to the reader.