Dr. Robert Lustig on Sugar, Fat, and Obesity

Monday, September 02, 2013

Kahuna #2: Dough sugar donut with Meat Hook hotdog (split), bacon, white miso spread, fig jam, sautéed onions (Amy Eddings/WNYC)

Dr. Robert Lustig documents the science and the politics that has led to the growthof chronic disease over the last 30 years. In the late 1970s the government mandated that we limit fat in our food, and the food industry responded by putting more sugar in. Dr. Lustig argues that the result has been a perfect storm, disastrously altering our biochemistry and driving our eating habits out of our control. In Fat Chance: Beating the Odds Against Sugar, Processed Food, Obesity, and Disease he presents strategies to readjust the key hormones that regulate hunger, reward, and stress, and suggests ways to improve the health of the next generation.


Dr. Robert Lustig

Comments [10]

Kate OS from Brooklyn

I'm from the UK, a country far from clear of sugar addiction issues, but I think we have a head start with the 'regular' foods we buy.

In the UK, a wholemeal loaf of sliced bread has sugar as it's 11th ingredient (1.4g sugar per slice)

In the NYC, the 'healthy' loaf I bought of multi grain has it as its 3rd ingredient (4g sugar per slice). I can taste the sweetness as I eat it.

Why would this much sugar be needed, and how are people meant to stand a chance of reducing their sugar intake if a product as basic as bread (multigrain bread) is high in sugar?

Most people know that eating cookies is bad for you, few would think the same of bread.

A big part of the battle should be at the manufacturing level, to aid those with less information about what they are eating.

Jan. 22 2014 01:34 PM
Frank from KC, KS

John from Brookly? Really? John from monsanto more like

Oct. 12 2013 05:26 PM
Jolene from NYC metro

Is there a transcript for the hearing impaired for this?

It sucks not being able to listen!

Sep. 04 2013 10:43 AM
John from Brooklyn

Dr. Lustig is guilty of fear mongering and confirmation bias. He misleads the public by cherry picking data and playing fast and loose with the facts in order to promote his agenda and sell his book.

Whether or not you buy Dr. Lustig's numerous leaps of logic, I highly suggest reading Alan Aragon's critique of "Sugar: The Bitter Truth" to at least get a different perspective. Alan is an evidence-based nutritionist, which is why he is so well-respected among his peers. After Alan posted his piece, Dr. Lustig responded in the comments section, and a heated debate soon followed. Suffice it to say, Dr. Lustig did not fare well arguing his case.

The initial critique can be read here:

A summary of the debate can be read here:

Alan's critique of Dr. Lustig's 60 Minutes segment can be seen here:

Sep. 02 2013 02:06 PM
Sharpie999 from NYC

Would like to know if juicing fruits and vegetables destroys the fiber. Hope someone can answer.

Sep. 02 2013 01:59 PM
Mark Ruoff

I lived in Norway for one year in the mid 90s. In that year I saw two truly obese individuals. On both occasions, I learned they were Americans.

I've come to realize that there are clearly those who are predisposed to easier weight gain, but the direction our society has gone, in contrast to the lifestyles of other entire nations, seems to be a pronounced and primary factor in enabling obesity to occur.

Though a relatively small example, Norway is a nation of relatively active people with easy access to the outdoors and a love of sports. How do we address the cultural distinctions to help potentially or actaully obese people to live better?

Sep. 02 2013 01:47 PM
Jessie Henshaw from Way Uptown

Sugar = sales = our true addiction to feeding addictions

We now base our economy on feeding addiction, finding things a glutted society will buy more and more of, to feed our driving societal addiction to having ever more money.

Sep. 02 2013 01:38 PM

Agree with jgarbuz. Sugar is the real "gateway" drug used to "hook" our kids.

Sep. 02 2013 01:27 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

Sugar and excess carbs in general should be put in the same category as tobacco and drugs - very bad for your health. Certainly bad for your weight.

Sep. 02 2013 12:43 PM
Gloria from New jersey

Fast food seems so accessible to lower income family's which leads obese parents to pass the trend of poor diet to their children. I'm glad the schools are taking a healthy direction but personally I believe parents/guardians/caretakers should be educated on health eating. The trend worked with my kids - they know that they have a choice.

Sep. 02 2013 11:32 AM

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