Kind dumped 45K pounds of sugar in Times Square, but the message was anything but sweet.
Times Square has definitely seen some interesting things before. For instance, there’s yoga in the street to celebrate the summer solstice each year and daily street performers doing all kinds of odd things. But a new exhibit in the heart of Times Square is unusual, even by the historic venue’s standards: a 45,485-pound mound of sugar packages.
The exhibit comes courtesy of KIND (the company behind KIND bars), and it’s designed to showcase how much added sugar kids in the U.S. eat every five minutes. (In case you’re not familiar with it, added sugar is the sugar added to foods, while naturally-occurring sugar is already found in foods.)
The installation also features statues of kids that are made from 64 pounds of sugar—the average amount of sugar an 8-year-old eats in a year, according to KIND publicist. The mound itself is 15 feet by 24 feet of packaged sugar, which is kind of hard to miss in Times Square.
“You’re looking at 45,485 pounds of added sugar,” a sign in front of the exhibit says. “This is the amount of added sugar children in the U.S. consume every five minutes. It’s time for a change.” (Why? Here are the six ways having too much sugar messes with your body.)
KIND points to a recent poll they conducted that found that nearly 80 percent of parents don’t know what added sugars are, and have trouble differentiating between added and naturally-occurring sugar when they look at food labels. And some even thought corn syrup and tapioca syrup were naturally-occurring sugar—which goes a long way toward explaining why kids are eating so much of the sweet stuff. (Want to work off the extra pounds caused by added sugar? The Men’s Health Get Back in Shape workout will help you build a better body in just 28 days.)
By the way, the American Heart Association says that kids should have less than 25 grams of added sugar each day, which is about six teaspoons—and many are having so much more than that.
Added sugar tends to crop in weird places, like pasta sauces, cereal, and salad dressing, so it’s crucial to keep a close eye on food labels for these sugar traps, whether you have kids or not. Want to know more about the sweet stuff hiding in your favorite meals and drinks? Here’s where you can learn the truth about sugar.