Joanne SmithOh, how we love sugar. It tastes great, makes us feel good and gives us an extra kick to help get through the day. We can’t get enough of it. The U.S. Dietary Guidelines reveal that on average, Americans ingest 17 teaspoons of sugar a day, even though the World Health Organization recommends we eat no more than five to 10. Seventeen teaspoons a day adds up to almost 60 pounds a year! Think what 60 pounds looks like — that’s a lot of sugar — and it has absolutely no nutritional value or benefit to your health.

All that excess sugar is associated with the development of numerous health conditions such as weight gain/obesity, Type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, build-up of plaque in your arteries, inflammation, weakened immune function, decreased bone health, depression, anxiety, fatigue and sleep difficulties. These are all common secondary health complications for people living with chronic mobility impairments. So, if you’re eating and drinking more than the recommended amount every day, it is critical that you reduce your sugar intake to help lower your risk of developing or compounding these serious health complications.

To give you an example, people with spinal cord injuries often have weakened immune systems as a result of the biochemical changes that occur following injury. If someone with SCI puts a couple