Friday Favorites: Does Sugar Lead to Weight Gain?

The sugar industry’s response to evidence implicating sweeteners in the obesity epidemic.

For more on the sugar industry’s influence, check out Sugar Industry Attempts to Manipulate the Science ( ).

Here are my popular sugar videos for more:
• If Fructose Is Bad, What About Fruit? ( )
• How Much Fruit Is Too Much? ( )
• How Much Added Sugar Is Too Much? ( )
• Big Sugar Takes on the World Health Organization ( )
• Does Diet Soda Increase Stroke Risk as Much as Regular Soda? ( )
• How to Stop Tooth Decay ( )
• The Recommended Added Daily Sugar Intake ( )

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Thanks for watching. I hope you’ll join in the evidence-based nutrition revolution!
-Michael Greger, MD FACLM

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Dave McKinnon

  • @andrewpawley8883 says:

    I love this channel!

  • @WilkesFamilyPB says:

    However, “most” sweets are also high in oils…. We know that combination of oil and sugar is a fat pill. This is why fruits don’t make us fat. Sugar is fine, Dixie Crystals are probably bad

    • @mitkoogrozev says:

      Indeed. ”All” the junk food I’ve looked at recently has at least 20-30g of fat per 100g of product (10-20g of which is saturated!), and around 50-60g sugar/100g. A lot of them seem to be at this almost 1:2 ratio. And calorically that’s almost 1:1.

      And that’s not any junk food, but specifically sweets. Looked through multiple brands of wafers , cookies, chocolate spreads and ice creams.

    • @tropicaoptica says:

      Seed oils are a HUGE problem. Most processed junk contain them. Most vegan products do as well. Tortilla chips mostly all contain sunflower oil. There is one brand that uses avocado oil that’s what we buy. Salad dressing mostly all have canola oil or soybean. Why is Gregor not talking about this? Why isn’t he differentiating cane sugar and HFCS?

    • @saskwatch8580 says:

      @@tropicaopticaisn’t Avocado oil just as fattening as seed oils? What’s the difference between HFCS sugar and Cane (or other natural) sugar?

    • @fidelkva4810 says:

      @@tropicaopticaSeed oil is not worse than other fats, in fact polyunsaturated fats are often better than saturated (and obviously trans) fats. high fructose corn syrup is also basically sugar and works the same way. any added fat or carbohydrate is bad, whole foods are great.

  • @meonyoutubenow says:

    I am missing references to studies that actually meassure body fat development rather than bodyweigth. There is a difference!
    I also miss studies from jurisdictions where the food industries’ use of sugar is not dominated by the worst kind of chemically altered sugar compounds such as high fructose corn sirup. It would be interesting to see results from Scandinavian countries or France where these things are regulated, places where contrary to the US, Asia, and Africa we enjoy relatively higher consumer protection laws and traditionally consume sugar in the form of …you guessed it, just sugar. A couple of studies examining how sugar consumption contributes to fat gain/loss in individuals who are otherwise metabolically healthy, follow a plant-based diet would also be interesting to read. E.g. Barnard conducted a study mny years ago that followed a low fat plant-based diet but did not restrict sugar. If you believe Barnard the study subjects did indeed find candy and junkfood, ate it all ad libitum and still lost a significant amount of weight incl fat nd managed to keep it all off.

    • @RoughNeckDelta says:

      When looking at the general population, BMI is not perfect but is a good indicator of bodyfat. Only the few people who follow a strict diet weightlifting routine would the BMI give a false positive.

    • @meonyoutubenow says:

      @@RoughNeckDelta BMI is unrelated to the question I am raising here.
      Your presumption that it is a useful tool to equate almost any weight gain not attributable to weightlifting with fat gain is also false. Moreover, it is even more questionable to attempt to do so seeing that lipo neogenesis does not occur based on calories derived from carbohydrate sources. BMI cannot be used here.

    • @RoughNeckDelta says:

      @@meonyoutubenow I’m assuming any overfat or obsese designations are done using BMI. You wanted to see studies based on actual body fat rather than bodyweight, which (I’m assuming) these studies and charts are using to get to a BMI to indicate overfat or obese.

    • @meonyoutubenow says:

      @@RoughNeckDelta Excess glucose is stored as glycogen. Simply arriving at the conclusion that sugar made you fat because you gained weight would be wrong – inaccurate or not demonstated at best.
      The simple fact that a portion of gross amounts of excess energy sources are stored is also of little to no interest to me at least. From my point of view what would be interesting would be to map out the endocrine impacts of it and concequenses thereof. Did it make the subjects more fat, irritable, cause memory loss, uptick in various inflammation markers.

    • @RoughNeckDelta says:

      @@meonyoutubenow My initial reply wasn’t to say sugar makes you fat. I’m just saying when studies use body weight to measure fat, it’s a good but not perfect gauge of fat mass because for 99.99% of people, they’re not packing on the muscle.

  • @richardereed9205 says:

    The Rice Diet consisted of white rice (starch that converts to sugar), fruit (high in sugar), fruit juice (so high in sugar they recommend limiting it for children, and table sugar. Among other benefits it is a weight LOSS diet. Explain please.

    • @arzthaus says:

      First of all, starch does not convert to “sugar.” It converts to glucose, which is a monosaccharide, the main source of energy in your body. “Table Sugar” is 1:1 glucose and fructose which is probably what is meant by “sugar” in this case. I think our nutrition facts labels need updating, because milk will say it has 12g of “sugar” but that’s almost 0% fructose. Fructose is the main bad guy here.

    • @asldfjkalsdfjasdf says:

      What all of these studies leave out is what diet their patients are eating otherwise.
      A doughnut is almost always a high fat food even though it tastes sweet and has lots of sugar in it.
      Oil and fat reduce your ability to utilize sugar und feed your cells with it. That is why it is found in the urine.
      The calories in the rice diet comes from about 95% Starch & Sugar and very little fat and protein which clearly is not the case for all the cited studies here.

      So you can blame sugar all along but the fat you eat will still be the fat you wear.

    • @ebirch90 says:

      Humans are inefficient at converting glucose to fat – lipogenesis. In the presence of excess calories, it is quite easy for fat to be stored – whereas excess glucose is typically excreted in urine (small amount converted to cholesterol). Search for the following video on YouTube: “Overeating sugar doesn’t make you gain weight? | How hclf vegans stay skinny on 3000+ calories”

    • @happycook6737 says:

      Total daily caloric intake on the Rice Diet was 800 calories per day in phase 1. Can’t gain weight on 800 calories.

    • @marcdebruyne3258 says:

      @@happycook6737 Why is it that many top athletes eat so much sugar and carbohydrates?

  • @asldfjkalsdfjasdf says:

    Doctors would taste their patients urine to check for diabetes.
    So Sugar content in urine probably has more to do that there is access the body can’t handle properly than the fact that they got fat.
    If you eat high fat in general and add sugar that is a bad idea.

  • @RoughNeckDelta says:

    Colorado is the least overfat. The only cause I can think of is they were the first to legalize medical cannabis and then recreational cannabis.

  • @Judge2x says:

    This needs a better practical explanation relating to weight gain. For example personally I can eat nothing but candy for days (sweet chocolates, skittles etc) and not see much or any weight gain but eat pizza for a day (starch, fat, protein) and see significant weight gain in that same week.

    • @dianeladico1769 says:

      That pizza is probably high is sodium so the weight gain may well be from water retention.

    • @leftyfourguns says:

      This can be explained simply by pointing out that carbohydrates have 4 calories per gram compared to fat which has 9 calories per gram. Just one and a half tablespoons of butter has more calories than an entire can of soda. So both fat and processed sugar can very easily make you exceed daily caloric limits while providing very little nutrition and satiety, but fat is over twice as worse as processed sugar. Pizza is really just a fat pie

  • @CarnivoreOrVegan says:

    A question if he would be so kind as to answer. Is there a natural treatment for autoimmune hemolytic anemia? I have that disease.

  • @dj-up4nc says:

    Hi Dr. Greger, could you make a video on whether fructooligosaccharides are safe sweeteners?

  • @kocsiserika1987 says:

    Is erythritol safe yet? Or still a red light?

  • @CARLiCON says:

    Thanks for the info Doc, I switched to Erythritol 10 years ago & felt great, then you & others put out videos about heart & stroke risk, so I switched to Maltodextrin, which was worse, then back to table sugar, which was also worse & now I feel like crap all the time. Can you please provide more studies/data about this Erythritol scare? they’re still selling it & I’ve yet to hear of 1 case where someone died due to Erythritol-related issues.

    • @DrSpooglemon says:

      Xylitol is what I use to sweeten things. No health risks associated with it.

    • @dianeladico1769 says:

      This may not be what you want to see but what worked for me was cutting out all processed forms of sweetness. The only ‘sweet’ we eat is what occurs in fruit. I don’t even do date sugar. I do add fresh/frozen/dried fruit to porridge and will have fresh and dried fruit as snacks. If you cut out all food with added processed sweetness, your tastes do adapt. I’ve found that sometimes even fresh fruit can be a little much. I top out at a handful of super-sweet grapes and I once put half a nectarine in the fridge for later because it was just too sweet for me.
      You will still enjoy sweet things but it will be genuine enjoyment, not an artificially enhanced craving which is what sugar and artificial sweeteners cause.

    • @bryant475 says:

      Date syrup/sugar , Maple syrup, and Blackstrap molasses are the healthiest sweeteners, Dr. Greger made a video about it 🙂

    • @RoughNeckDelta says:

      @@DrSpooglemon Another plus with Xylitol is it is supposed to help with dental health.

    • @tropicaoptica says:

      Don’t eat overt fat for a few days and eat fruit instead of sugar. Work on building muscle it helps insulin response especially leg and butt muscles. Get enough sleep. But really I guess one should ask what do you actually eat? What does a common day look like? How much sleep do you get and exercise?

  • @anonanon289 says:

    Great video many thanks

  • @guitary says:

    Dr Pepper is always giving me the thumbs up on my Health status

  • @KJSvitko says:

    Salt, oil and sugar are added to all processed foods.

  • @Cara-lx5rr says:

    Would really appreciate it if you told people that fruit isn’t in the same basket and as a whole food is beneficial because so many people are afraid of fruit, I spent most my life not eating fruit because of the sugar but now I’ve learnt that it’s not the same as table sugar

  • @tropicaoptica says:

    HFCS is NOT the same as cane sugar. HFCS is bad. Cane sugar is not. Seed oils are bad and in most candies and processed junk. I have been eating added cane sugar (up to 400 cals extra) to my diet for years for extra energy to burn while working out, on top of getting 1500 min cals a day from fruit and 500 more from starches/legumes, and I’m lean! Seed oils combined with HFCS and chronic calorie deficit to to dieting cause weight gain! So does high cortisol and nothing fixes high cortisol better than sugar. I literally drank oj with 50g added cane sugar before my blood work last May and my blood sugar was 82! Low fat diets can handle added sugar if you get adequate macros/micros it’s beneficial! Especially to mental health. Key is eat your fats at dinner and sugars, fruits and carbs during day for best insulin response.

  • @phillippinter7518 says:

    He talks a lot about waste circunference but if I’ve just eaten and am constipated my waste circunference could easily increase from like 24 to 28 inches, thats about 17% , certainly not half my height but I’d imagine it would cross the line for a lot of people.

  • @FreeDivinDR says:

    These sugar studies are giving the same vibe as the potato studies. What are the sugars being eaten with? Potatoes are pure starch, aka sugar, but are they deep fried eaten with meat or are they boiled and eaten with more vegetables? Are there any studies that look at types of sugar and their accompaniments similar to that potato study?

  • @diornewlookgirl8061 says:

    If overweight means that your waist is more than half your height, then I’m not over weight. But by my BMI I am overweight. Actually Im definitely overweight and Im working on it with excercise and diet. But Im just pleasantly surprised that it’s not so bad in regards to my waist circumference.

  • @mchagawa1615 says:

    Thank you so much <3

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