In 2009, Robert Lustig, a specialist on pediatric hormone disorders and the leading expert in childhood obesity at the University of California (San Francisco, School of Medicine),  gave a lecture called “Sugar: The Bitter Truth.” The 90-minute talk features discussion of the nuances of fructose biochemistry and human physiology.

The talk was uploaded on youTube and has been viewed 800,000+ times. Check the talk –

Recently Gary Taubes, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation independent investigator in health policy,  did an article on the same in NYTime Magazine

 

The viral success of his lecture, though, has little to do with Lustig’s impressive credentials and far more with the persuasive case he makes that sugar is a “toxin” or a “poison,” terms he uses together 13 times through the course of the lecture, in addition to the five references to sugar as merely “evil.” And by “sugar,” Lustig means not only the white granulated stuff that we put in coffee and sprinkle on cereal — technically known as sucrose — but also high-fructose corn syrup, which has already become without Lustig’s help what he calls “the most demonized additive known to man.”

It doesn’t hurt Lustig’s cause that he is a compelling public speaker. His critics argue that what makes him compelling is his practice of taking suggestive evidence and insisting that it’s incontrovertible. Lustig certainly doesn’t dabble in shades of gray. Sugar is not just an empty calorie, he says; its effect on us is much more insidious. “It’s not about the calories,” he says. “It has nothing to do with the calories. It’s a poison by itself.”

If Lustig is right, then our excessive consumption of sugar is the primary reason that the numbers of obese and diabetic Americans have skyrocketed in the past 30 years. But his argument implies more than that. If Lustig is right, it would mean that sugar is also the likely dietary cause of several other chronic ailments widely considered to be diseases of Western lifestyles — heart disease, hypertension and many common cancers among them.Source: www.nytimes.com

 

As noted by Taube, the evidence is inconclusive, but it does make us all worried. Is sugar as bad as Lustig claims it to be? Is it the cause for all western diseases?

 

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