Thirty-seven subjects, 19 men and 18 women, consumed reference diets for 12 weeks formulated by nutritionists to contain optimal levels of protein, fat, carbohydrate, and other nutrients; the following 6 weeks, subjects consumed high sugar diets. The reference diets contained 35% of total calories from complex carbohydrates and 15% from simple sugars while the high sugar diets contained 15% complex carbohydrates and 35% simple sugars. Chromium contents of the reference and high sugar diets were both approximately 16 micrograms per 1000 calories. Compared to the reference diets, consumption of the high sugar diets increased urinary Cr losses from 10% to 300% for 27 of 37 subjects. Urinary Cr excretion of males and females was similar, and there was no significant difference in Cr absorption (calculated from urinary excretion divided by intake times 100) between sexes when adjusted for the increased caloric intake of males. These data demonstrate that consumption of diets high in simple sugars stimulates Cr losses; this coupled with marginal intake of dietary Cr may lead to marginal Cr deficiency, which is associated with impaired glucose and lipid metabolism.