The process by which dietary carbohydrate is transformed into fat in the human body is termed de novo lipogenesis. New methods for the measurement of this process in humans are available and have been used to investigate the role of the carbohydrate form (fed as a liquid or solid), the level of processing of carbohydrate in foods, and the role of lipogenesis in the control of liver triacylglycerol secretion. The present paper will discuss how research results are affected by both the physical state of the carbohydrate in the diet and by the metabolic state of individual research subjects. Of interest is the relationship between the glycemic index of a food (or indicators of a food's glycemic index) and that food's ability to stimulate lipogenesis in humans. Given the increasing prevalence of obesity worldwide, future scientific emphasis will expand methods to quantitate the lipogenic potential of specific foods and dietary patterns and investigate how the metabolic state of insulin resistance affects lipogenesis and/or contributes to obesity.