A marked increase in gout was observed in England during the 17th to 20th centuries. Many have ascribed this rapid increase in gout to the introduction of wines that were laced with lead. In this article, we suggest another likely contributor, which is the marked increase in sugar intake that occurred in England during this period. Sugar contains fructose, which raises uric acid and increases the risk for gout. Sugar intake increased markedly during this period due to its introduction in liquors, tea, coffee and desserts. We suggest that the introduction of sugar explains why gout was originally a disease of the wealthy and educated, but gradually became common throughout society.