Robert Lustig and colleagues argue that sugar is “toxic” (Nature 482, 27–29; 2012), focusing on the “deadly effect” of the fructose moiety of sucrose. But they are directing attention away from the problem of general overconsumption.

Guidelines on healthy eating encourage fruit consumption, and fruit and fruit products are the third-largest source of fructose in the US diet.

Our meta-analyses of controlled feeding trials indicate a net metabolic benefit, with no harmful effects, from fructose at a level of intake obtainable from fruit (J. L. Sievenpiper et al. Br. J. Nutr., in the press).