As the Australian Food and Grocery Council Sugar Forum gets underway this week, the sugar industry has denied any responsibility for more than half of the country's adults and a quarter of its children being clinically obese or overweight.

Forum chairman John Burman said it was simplistic and incorrect to blame the sugar industry, saying: "Anyone who thinks sugar is the cause of obesity is living in the dark ages. Over the last few decades, consumption of sugar has been in decline, exercise levels have been in decline and obesity has been increasing."

Burman pointed the finger of blame very firmly at the slothful behaviour adopted by today's consumers.