Your perception of what is normal or adequate is based on your personal history. The perception of normal changes over time and over generations.
I have read a number of blogs where the author chooses to drastically change their diet for a set amount of time. Sometime during that experience, either the author or the readers will say something along these lines, "I believe in moderation in all things when it comes to diet." "I think having the occasional treat is o.k." "An occasional dessert is not bad for me, and it makes me so much happier."
I don't necessarily have a problem with any of those sentiments. However, what, exactly, is moderation? What is occasional? Some people think that having a cookie every day represents moderation. Others might think that a small treat after lunch and dinner is not excessive. Others reserve their dessert for once a week. What you might think acceptable is strongly based on your personal history. For example, growing up we had dessert once a week on Sunday. I had a friend though that had a dessert after dinner every day of the week. (And it was an actual dessert like cake vs. a mere cookie.) I thought that was a bit crazy; she thought it normal.
Skip, the author behind the blog Word of Wisdom Living wrote:
1833, American consumption of sweeteners stood at 10 lbs per year—about 3 tsp a day. Now, depending on the data source, we eat 21-30 teaspoons daily. The AHA recommends no more than 6 tsp (24 grams) daily for women, 9 for men (based on their greater weight).
I mean seriously. Does a dessert really need to contain chocolate chip coconut cheesecake, chocolate cake, chewy brownie, and coconut-pecan frosting (an actual "cheesecake" at The Cheesecake Factory). No. That is just ridiculous people not to mention coma inducing.
There was a time when people indulged on Feast Days and.....that was it. As a missionary in Ukraine, I noticed that Ukrainians have cake or sweets on actual special occasions like birthdays or celebrations. Not everyday. Not even every Sunday. (They can't afford it!)
I guess I feel like we, as Americans, are like those fishermen baulking at the Fishery managers. We have no idea what it eating moderately means when it comes to sweets. Our level of sugar consumption is just so out of the ballpark that any sort of limitation on our ingestion of sweets seems unreasonable and downright crazy.