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The Dangers of Fat and Sugar That You Didn't Know About

Updated on October 1, 2016
Foods high in fat and sugar can cause many health problems.
Foods high in fat and sugar can cause many health problems. | Source

Fat and Sugar

Skyrocketing obesity rates, and the proliferation of chronic diseases have both been linked to the excessive consumption of fat and sugar. Many factors conribute to this increase, including the convenience and low-cost of frequenting food establishments that load their products with fatty and sugary ingredients.

Frozen foods and convenient snacks are also culprits.

The headline of a New York Times article, “Told to Eat Its Vegetables, America Orders Fries,” summarizes America’s love affair with mega-size portions of fatty and sugary foods, both of which are deleterious to the country’s health.


It may not come as a surprise that obesity is the most prevalent effect of excessive fat and sugar, as this type of diet produces more calories than are usually burned off. However, researchers at George Washington University in St. Louis, Mo, determined that excessive fat and sugar also causes obesity by altering bacteria in the gut.

Bacteria in the gut breaks down food that the body cannot digest, but when mice were fed high-fat and high-sugar foods, within 24 hours, their gut bacteria changed to the types linked to obesity and body fat.


Decreased Brain Functioning

A diet consisting of excessive fat and sugar also influences brain structure and function. In a two-month study published in “Neuroscience,” researchers sought to determine the effects of a high fat and sugar diet on test animals. The scientists fed rats a diet that mimicked typical western fare, and discovered that only two months of a high-fat and sugar diet was enough to reduce memory and learning performance.

Maternal Consumption and Prenatal Risks

In an article published in “Endocrine, Metabolic and Immune Disorders,” there is a connection between overconsumption by pregnant mothers and risk prevalence in their babies. Excessive fat and sugar eaten by expectant mothers produced an increased risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes in their offspring.

When babies are exposed to high-fat and high-sugar diets either before birth or in early infancy, there is an alteration in the systems that regulate their appetite and food preferences, which stimulates overeating and leads to weight gain.


Excessive fat and sugar is linked to the development of diabetes according to researchers at Yale School of Medicine. Over 25 million Americans are afflicted with type 2 diabetes, which can result in renal failure, limb amputation and vision loss. Excessive sugar consumption in the form of fructose, and a fatty liver, lead to chronic liver disease.

In addition, Type II diabetes is caused by an insulin resistance, and according to Dr. Varman Samuel, Assistant Professor of Endocrinology, “If there is too much fat in the liver, the ability of insulin to activate those signals is impaired, making those cells resistant to insulin.”


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