Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.


Availability of high-fat foods might drive the obesity epidemic

Obesity is a major health issue in the developed and developing world, and is in part due to excess dietary energy intake. A new study showed that increased fat content alone was associated with increased energy intake and adiposity, suggesting that the availability of high-fat foods might be driving the development of overweight or obesity.

Access options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.


  1. 1.

    World Health Organisation. Obesity and overweight. WHO (2018).

  2. 2.

    Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Impact of Overweight and Obesity as a Risk Factor for Chronic Conditions: Australian Burden of Disease Study (AIHW, 2017).

  3. 3.

    Hu, S. et al. Dietary fat, but not protein or carbohydrate, regulates energy intake and causes adiposity in mice. Cell Metab. (2018).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. 4.

    Te Morenga, L., Mallard, S. & Mann, J. Dietary sugars and body weight: systematic review and meta-analyses of randomised controlled trials and cohort studies. BMJ 346, e7492 (2012).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. 5.

    Brand-Miller, J. C. & Barclay, A. W. Declining consumption of added sugars and sugar-sweetened beverages in Australia: a challenge for obesity prevention. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 105, 854–863 (2017).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  6. 6.

    Barclay, A. W. & Brand-Miller, J. The Australian paradox: a substantial decline in sugars intake over the same timeframe that overweight and obesity have increased. Nutrients 3, 491–504 (2011).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. 7.

    Havel, P. J. Dietary fructose: implications for dysregulation of energy homeostasis and lipid/carbohydrate metabolism. Nutr. Rev. 63, 133–157 (2005).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. 8.

    Carroll, L., Voisey, J. & van Daal, A. Mouse models of obesity. Clin. Dermatol. 22, 345–349 (2004).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. 9.

    Hill, J. O. & Peters, J. C. Environmental contributions to the obesity epidemic. Science 280, 1371–1374 (1998).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to Jonathan Buckley.

Ethics declarations

Competing interests

The author declares no competing interests.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Buckley, J. Availability of high-fat foods might drive the obesity epidemic. Nat Rev Endocrinol 14, 574–575 (2018).

Download citation

Further reading


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing