REVIEW ARTICLE
The Dose Makes the Poison: Sugar and Obesity in the United States – a Review
Samir Faruque 1  
,  
Janice Tong 1  
,  
Vuk Lacmanovic 1  
,  
Dulce M Minaya 2  
,  
 
 
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1
Department of Veterinary Biosciences and Diagnostic Imaging, The University of Georgia, Athens 30602, GA, United States, United States
2
Veterinary Biosciences and Diagnostic Imaging, University of Georgia, United States
CORRESPONDING AUTHOR
Krzysztof Czaja   

Department of Veterinary Biosciences and Diagnostic Imaging, The University of Georgia, Athens 30602, GA, United States, United States
Online publish date: 2019-07-30
Publish date: 2019-08-22
Submission date: 2019-03-13
Final revision date: 2019-06-10
Acceptance date: 2019-07-16
 
Pol. J. Food Nutr. Sci. 2019;69(3):219–233
KEYWORDS
TOPICS
ABSTRACT
Two-thirds of the US population is either overweight or obese. Obesity is one of the major drivers of preventable diseases and health care costs. In the US, current estimates for these costs range from $147 to $210 billion per year. Obesity is a multifactorial disease: genetics, lifestyle choices, metabolism, and diet. Low-fat diets have been suggested as the key to weight management. However, over the past 30 years, the calories from fat in people’s diets have gone down, but obesity rates keep climbing. Evidence suggests that diets high in added sugar promote the development of obesity. However, the impact of sugar consumption on weight gain and body fat accumulation remains a controversial topic. Therefore, the aim of this review is to provide basic framework information about the prevalence of obesity and sugar consumption in the US over the last five decades. We also review the process by which sugar is converted to fat and stored in the human body. The relationship between sugar consumption and obesity was analyzed using United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Sugar and Sweetener Outlook data, and obesity prevalence was analyzed using data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The analysis revealed a reduction in sugar consumption concurrent with a slowing down of the annual rate of increase of obesity. However, although the data show that the sugar consumption trend is going in the right direction (declining), the US population still consumes more than 300% of the recommended daily amount of added sugar.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
Special thanks to Dr. Steven D. Holladay for proofreading and providing feedback for this paper.
FUNDING
This work was supported by National Institutes of Health, grant no. 5R01DC013904-04.
 
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