The Sugar Epidemic Policy versus Politics

Dr. Robert Lustig, Professor of Pediatric Endocrinology at the University of California, San Francisco, argues that it is time for a paradigm shift in obesity science and policy, away from personal responsibility and toward public health. His presentation elaborates on his contention that sugar, like alcohol, should not be treated as an ordinary commodity on the open market.

Insulin Signaling

The Food Pyramid, established by the USDA in 1982, recommended ingestion of 55-70% of calories as carbohydrate. The subsequent 30 years showed a growing epidemic of obesity, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes mellitus, as well as identifiably increased risks for cancer, arthritis and cardiovascular disease. The Food Pyramid has recently been abandoned. Recommendations for carbohydrate intake now are in the range of 40-55% of total calories. Some propose that we should increase consumption of whole grain foods, natural fruits, etc. Other approaches recommend reducing total carbohydrate consumption further than current recommendations on grounds that 90% of the carbohydrates ingested nowadays are sugars or starches that digest to sugars.These are points of discussion, but regardless of specific dietary recommendations, we believe that a new dietary paradigm can be identified that calls for reducing overall insulin signaling. Benefits include reduced risks for type 2 diabetes, obesity, dyslipidemias, cardiovascular disease, arthritis as well as cancers: in short, many of the chronic diseases of our time.The panel and audience will discuss risk factors for chronic diseases and their inter-relations, mechanisms of insulin signaling that appear likely to contribute to these relationships challenges and possible suggestions toward improving dietary patterns.

Insulin Signaling—Science and Policy [2nd annual Ancestral Health Symposium 2012 (AHS12)] from Ancestral Health Society on Vimeo.

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