Does sugar cause obesity and diabetes?

Posted 07 August 2014

Current scientific evidence does not suggest that sugar directly causes conditions such as obesity or diabetes. Both of these conditions are due to a complex range of factors such as being excess body weight, physical inactivity although other factors such as genetics diet and ethnicity may also play a role (11).

However, like protein, starch, fat and alcohol, sugar is a source of calories in the diet and if we consistently consume more ‘energy’ or calories than our bodies use, this can lead to an accumulation of excess body fat. This can then result in obesity which can increase the risk of type 2 diabetes.

NOTE: Scientific evidence contained within a report published by the UK’s Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) found no direct link between total sugars intake and diabetes. However, it suggests a greater risk is associated with a higher intake of sugar-sweetened beverages (15).