Foundation for Diet and Health

The best perspective for your health

The best perspective for your health

The best perspective for your health

The best perspective for your health

Sugar – The Elephant in the Kitchen | Robert Lustig

Dr. Robert Lustig shows that in the present public health crisis, sugar consumption as the main cause of metabolic diseases is the elephant in the kitchen.
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22:23 English English


Channel:TEDx talks Platform:YouTube
Published on:17 December 2013 Producer:Lustig, Robert
Number of views: 548'174 on 5 April 2017
Rubric(s): Health, Principles/General, Medicine, Nutrition, Lifestyle, Drugs, Politics, Industry/Commerce, Wellness, Social / Religion
Topterms:Principle, General topics, Functional Food, Convenience food, Ready to eat products, Nutritional forms Tags:Healthy, Wholesome, Food ingredients, Sugar, Sweets, Fat, Unhealthy, Health

Robert H. Lustig is an American pediatric endocrinologist, who specializes in neuroendocrinology and childhood obesity, and professor of pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). He is also director of UCSF’s WATCH program (Weight Assessment for Teen and Child Health), president and cofounder of the nonprofit Institute for Responsible Nutrition, and author of several books on obesity and the impact sugar has on human health.

0:34: Dr. Lustig starts by discussing the four pillars of personal responsibility: knowledge, access, affordability, and the fact that your actions shouldn’t hurt anyone else (ahimsa).

1:53: The main cause of the public health care crisis is presented, namely chronic metabolic diseases and the lack of preventive services for these conditions.

3:15: Is it true that if obese people would eat less and exercise more, the entire health care crisis would be solved? Dr. Lustig gives several examples of patients with brain tumors and hypothalamus damage to promote the idea that behavior might be secondary to biochemistry. By lowering the insulin levels of these patients, he was able to reduce their weight and also influence their eating habits and other behaviors.

7:03: Dr. Robert Lustig shows that this process applies to all people. As we now have an insulin level that is three times higher than we used to have in the past, 40 % of the “normal weight” population has the exact same diseases as obese people (e.g., type 2 diabetes, hyperlipidemia, cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, cancer, and dementia).

9:00: Based on the concept of TOFI (thin on the outside, fat on the inside), Dr. Lustig explains how the distribution of fat influences a person’s health and how a health condition can become a public health crisis.

10:21: The myth “all calories count, no matter where they come from (…)” is debunked, and Dr. Lustig explains how some calories cause more disease than others because each calorie is metabolized differently.

11:39: The processed food diet — what is wrong with it and why calories from sugar are toxic calories.

12:58: The main results of the study “The Relationship of Sugar to Population-Level Diabetes Prevalence: An Econometric Analysis of Repeated Cross-Sectional Data,” by Basu S, Yoffe P, Hills N, and Lustig RH, February 27, 2013

13:38: Why sugar consumption leads to diabetes and why Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, and Malaysia have the highest diabetes rates.

15:00: Dr. Robert Lustig shows why sugar consumption is not a matter of personal responsibility (people’s access to real food is limited, and they receive misleading or incomplete information). The real culprit behind the actual public health care crisis is, in fact, the huge change in the food supply over the last 40 years, corporate profit targets, and a lack of government implication.


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