Nutrition Labels: How Sweet It Is

23717Lately, the subject of added sugar in our diets has been in the news. Most recently the FDA announced the first makeover of the nutrition label since it appeared twenty years ago. One of the big changes is the requirement to note how much added sugar is in a product. The new labeling now indicates a food’s naturally occurring sugar as well as its added sugar content.

Changes like these have been reverberating around the globe. Before the FDA’s changes in labeling, countries like France and Mexico increased taxes on sugary drinks specifically to treat the epidemic of added sugar’s health effects in their countries, and The United Nations identified the cost of treating the chronic health effects of added sugar as a grave threat to world economies.

23901One reason for these seismic changes in global health policy is UC San Francisco endocrinologist Dr. Robert Lustig, a leader in the movement to recognize that sugary foods are at the root of the obesity epidemic and the increase in metabolic disease. As a principal in UC San Francisco’s Center for Obesity Assessment and Treatment, Dr. Lustig is a rigorous scientist digging for the reality about foods’ effects on our health.

While a tireless researcher and clinician, his contributions to this movement in the public sphere are many. One of the most seminal of these was one of UCTV’s most popular programs, Sugar: The Bitter Truth, which details exactly how added sugar corrupts human metabolism. This stark expose of the consequences of added sugar has been viewed over 4 million times on YouTube.

The program resonated throughout media, from The New York Times, to UK’s Channel 4’s Dispatches, to CBS’ Sixty Minutes to CNN’s Sanjay Gupta, bringing out the hard facts about added sugar to an often-disbelieving world.

637That one lecture was so popular that UCTV’s YouTube Original Channel UCTV Prime followed with the multi part series The Skinny on Obesity. Featuring Lustig and his colleagues at UC San Francisco detailing the insidious effects of added sugar on human health, the series has been viewed over 1.6 million times on YouTube.

And so Dr. Lustig and UCTV continue. Last October, Dr. Lustig shared the latest information about added sugars with the UCTV program Fat Chance: Fructose 2.0 and released The Fat Chance Cookbook, a companion to his New York Times Best Seller Fat Chance.

And now, for the first time, the CDC has reported a decline in childhood obesity in 2 to 5 year olds.

Better research, better information, and practical steps to improving the health of people around the globe — hopefully the bitter truth will lead to a sweeter future.

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Browse more videos about obesity and nutrition on UCTV:

Obesity

Nutrition & Diet

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