Study on Sugar Consumption

Below is a recently published study on fructose-sugar consumption with the link to other studies that are in the U.S. Library of Medicine in brackets at the end. (For more information on sugar consumption go to this post:

This is, by the way, a very large study.  For all that the closing comments say that the consumption of the sugar fructose–to the tune of over a third of sugar consumed–cannot be conclusively linked to metabolic syndrome, etc., this is the nature of scientific studies to say what they learned without claiming too much since that is practically impossible in humans anyway. It took decades of suits to finally condemn cigarettes as cancer causing simply because there was no way to absolutely prove that the people did not have some predisposition for lung cancer since there are some few people who get lung cancer who never smoked. Despite the fact that lung cancer went from being a very rare occurrence to one of the major diseases as smoking increased. But people knew smoking was bad without a study; it was clear to anyone who did smoke that sucking super-heated smoke into your lungs wasn’t a good idea, and that nicotine is highly addictive.

So, as I read the study, the main point is that humans who for most of our human history got a very small amount of refined sugars or starches (and no artificial sweeteners!), are now consuming over a third of calories in sugars. And—they are looking purely at the sugar fructose, not the other sugars and carbohydrates like grains that are sugar in the body.

If I take a look at my diet from my 20s, I know that I would have fit neatly into this study, the difference being that HFCS was just then being introduced and not the ubiquitous additive it is now. While I was still a normal weight, I was paving the road to eventually getting overweight and developing hypoglycemia and insulin resistance. Thank goodness I learned about Atkins or I have no doubt that by now I would have been diabetic.  I ate cereal with milk aka sugar with sugar, lots of bread aka sugar, French fries aka sugar, lots of burgers aka mostly sugar and protein, daily desserts, usually cookies, cakes, pies aka fat and sugar—and more, with sugar nearly always prominently in the meals. The only bad habit I didn’t have was soda, mainly because I didn’t get it much growing up and didn’t develop a strong liking for it. When I got into my 30s-40s it was the “heart healthy” whole grains much promoted by Jane Brody, et al, which meant that I ate even more sugars as grains, but with a lot less fat and protein—turns out as Gary Taubes has so beautifully shown us to have been a very bad idea.

If you haven’t already done so it might be a good idea to think about how much sugar you did eat or still eat, or how much your children are consuming. We didn’t get into this obesity epidemic with eating habits that are good; we got here with an ever increasing amount of sugars in virtually all our foods.

Yours in learning,

Nan aka Sugarbaby

Food Chem Toxicol. 2011 Aug 25. [Epub ahead of print]

Fructose and non-fructose sugar intakes in the US population and their associations with indicators of metabolic syndrome.

Sun SZ, Anderson GH, Flickinger BD, Williamson-Hughes PS, Empie MW.


Office of Compliance and Ethics, Archer Daniels Midland Company, 1001 North Brush College Road, Decatur, IL 62521, USA.



Relationships of sugar intakes with indicators of metabolic syndrome are important concerns for public health and safety. For individuals, dietary intake data for fructose and other sugars are limited.


Descriptive statistics. The data from 25,506 subjects, aged 12-80yr, contained in the NHANES 1999-2006 databases were analyzed for sugar intakes and health parameters.


Dietary fructose was almost always consumed with other sugars. On average, fructose provided 37% of total simple sugar intake and 9% of energy intake. In more than 97% of individuals studied, fructose caloric contribution was lower than that of non-fructose sugars. Fructose and non-fructose sugar intakes had no positive association with blood concentrations of TG, HDL cholesterol, glycohemoglobin, uric acid, blood pressure, waist circumference, and BMI in the adults studied (aged 19 to 80yr, n=17,749).

CONCLUSION:Daily fructose intakes with the American diet averaged approximately 37% of total sugars and 9% of daily energy. Fructose was rarely consumed solely or in excess over non-fructose sugars. Fructose and non-fructose sugar ordinary consumption was not positively associated with indicators of metabolic syndrome, uric acid and BMI. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Sugar is Ravaging our Population

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