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Toxic Sugar - Video on the Obesity Epidemic

Is sugar toxic and the cause of the obesity epidemic? Here’s a great new video called Toxic Sugar. It’s a recent segment from the major Australian science program Catalyst, on ABC.

It’s arguably the best 18-minute introduction ever made on the true causes of the obesity epidemic. The program features the #1 enemy of the sugar industry: professor Robert Lustig. Also appearing: science writer Gary Taubes and obesity expert professor Michael Crowley.

Excellent article and link from the Diet Doctor site on the obesity epidemic.

See it and then tell your friends. This needs to be seen by a lot of people.

Here’s a few comments:

Low fat, high sugar

Misguided low-fat advice is blamed for the increase in sugar intake. For example: low-fat mayo has six time more sugar than normal mayo. And let’s not even talk about sweetened low-fat yoghurt. “You might as well eat candy” says professor Crowley. The sugar is hiding everywhere today. Says Lustig:

…virtually every food item in the store that has a food label, it has some form of sugar!

By the way: did you have a glass of fruit juice this morning? If you did, you are aging seven times faster! Source: once more the quotable dr Lustig (I’ve no idea where he got that exact number).

Carbs -> insulin -> fat

What’s the problem with carbs? Too much bad carbs (like soda) easily leads to the secretion of too much of the hormone insulin, making your body store more fat.

Trying to control your weight – by just eating less and exercising more – in that situation will be a life-long uphill struggle. Eventually almost everybody loses.

The “set point” misconception

I have one objection towards the end of the show. Crowley claims that the body has a weight set point. Lose weight and the body will try to return to the original weight. This is a common misconception.

The truth is that the body tends to return to your original weight IF AND ONLY IF you return to your original lifestyle! There is no quick-fix that works forever.

To lose weight long-term you need a long-term lifestyle change. Avoiding excess sugar is a great first step.

Blaming the food industry

The program ends by laying the responsibility for the obesity epidemic on the shoulders of the food industry.

While that may be partially true we can never expect them to solve this problem. It’s never going to happen. Read the excellent book “Salt, Sugar, Fat” and you’ll appreciate why: they simply can’t stop producing profitable junk food by themselves. If they try another company will quickly steal their market share.

The entire industry has to be forced to change.

Where to start

Here’s what you can do: See the video above and then spread it to your friends, so that they too understand. That’s a great start.