Sugar and body weight regulation

Am J Clin Nutr. 1995 Jul;62(1 Suppl):264S-273S; discussion 273S-274S. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/62.1.264S.


The need to understand reasons for the high prevalence of obesity in developed countries has led to examination of dietary habits that may contribute to obesity. We consider whether consumption of high amounts of sugars presents a public health problem by contributing to the development of obesity. Metabolic studies show that diets high in fat are more likely to result in body fat accumulation than are diets high in carbohydrate. There is no indication that simple sugars differ from complex sugars in this regard. Epidemiologic data show a clear inverse relation between intake of sugar and fat. Further, although high intake of dietary fat is positively associated with indexes of obesity, high intake of sugar is negatively associated with indexes of obesity. There is ample reason to associate high-fat diets with obesity but, at present, no reason to associate high-sugar diets with obesity.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Body Weight / physiology*
  • Dietary Carbohydrates / analysis
  • Dietary Carbohydrates / pharmacology*
  • Energy Metabolism
  • Humans
  • Obesity / epidemiology
  • Obesity / physiopathology
  • Weight Gain / physiology
  • Weight Loss / physiology


  • Dietary Carbohydrates