The Sugar Epidemic: Policy vs. Politics - Harvard Food Law Society
 
 
Robert Lustig opened the Food Law Society's Harvard Forum on Food Policy on October 20th with his lecture, "The Sugar Epidemic: Policy vs. Politics." Recently featured in The New York Times Magazine, Dr. Lustig has become a leading pubic health authority on the impact sugar has on fueling the diabetes, obesity and metabolic syndrome epidemics, and on addressing changes in the food environment to reverse these chronic diseases.

Please continue below the fold for an abstract of his talk.

"Excessive sugar consumption in the U.S. and abroad are deleterious to public health. The carbohydrate fructose impacts health negatively beyond its caloric equivalent, and produces a 'vicious cycle' of consumption and metabolic disease in large quantities, akin to that seen with ethanol. It is time for a paradigm shift in obesity science and policy, away from personal responsibility and toward public health. The place to start is with sugar, which like alcohol, should not be treated as an ordinary commodity on the open market.

"Efforts to reduce fructose consumption should be informed by the extensive body of evidence from international experience and research on alcohol policy. This evidence points to inadequacy of public information and education programs, but rather supports taxation and other controls on marketing and distribution, including access and zoning restrictions. At the national level, removal of fructose from the Food and Drug Administration’s GRAS (generally regarded as safe) list, are among the most promising policy interventions to address the rising rates of chronic metabolic disease."
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