Tag Archives: sugar

The Hacking of the American Mind

8232We first met Dr. Lusting in 2009 when UCTV presented his “Sugar: The Bitter Truth” lecture. That viral video now has over 7 million YouTube views, and more every day.

His latest program, “The Hacking of the American Mind: The Science Behind the Corporate Takeover of Our Bodies and Brains,” coincides with the publishing of his new book of the same title.

In this half-hour interview, Lustig, a UCSF endocrinologist, explores the reward system in our brains – serotonin, cortisol, and dopamine – chemicals that drive our pleasure-seeking behaviors including overeating, drug use, and that ever-present cell phone. But he goes beyond just neural pathways and brain chemistry to impute the underlying economic machine that creates industries that profit off processed foods full of sugar.

He recommends a “four Cs” solution — connect, contribute, cope, and cook — urging a slowed-down lifestyle for the sake of our health and happiness.

In addition to the interview “The Hacking of the American Mind”, you may enjoy these short videos:

The Difference Between Happiness and Pleasure
Corporate Responsibility vs. Individual Responsibility
Are All Calories the Same?
Responsibility of the Food Industry
Processed Food and Pleasure

For a deeper dive, watch the video that started it all and other programs with Dr. Robert Lustig:
Sugar: The Bitter Truth
The Skinny on Obesity
Fat Chance: Fructose 2.0

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Learn the Facts About Sugar

8232A dangerous white powder is in the news – sugar.

We’ve heard so much about the harmful effects of sugar lately, that it may be hard to distinguish facts from fiction, and it’s left many consumers with more questions than answers. That’s a problem because, let’s face it, when we’re talking about possibly reducing something we consume (and enjoy) on a daily basis, not knowing the facts can keep us from making necessary changes in our diets.

To get the facts, health scientists at UCSF developed SugarScience.org to learn more about the latest research findings on sugar and its impact on health. Their goal? To help you make healthy choices based on clear, unbiased, scientific evidence.

So far, the evidence is clear: too much added sugar doesn’t just make us fat – it can also make us sick. Americans consume an average of 66 pounds of sugar per year. Because it’s so easily digestable, too much sugar overwhelms the liver and can lead to type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and even liver disease and failure.

“The news is hard to hear,” admits Professor Laura A. Schmidt, UCSF School of Medicine. “It’s tough stuff. Just like smoking back in the 50’s, you grew up thinking everybody does this, it’s benign. Now the scientific community is in the hard position of saying something you love and think is benign is harmful to your health.”

How much is too much? The American Heart Association recommends that we don’t exceed the following guidelines for daily added sugar intake:

Women: 6 teaspoons (24 grams)

Men: 9 teaspoons (36 grams)

Kids: 3-4 teaspoons (12-16 grams)

Preteens & Teens: 5 teaspoons (20 grams)

Once you start to look for added sugar, you’ll find it everywhere. SugarScience.org has uncovered 61 different names for sugar in the products we consume. Imagine my dismay when I discovered that my favorite salad exhausted my entire recommended daily allowance of sugar.

But even small changes can make a big difference.

Perhaps the simplest change you can make is to stop drinking “liquid sugar.” Sugary drinks such as sodas, sports drinks and even fruit drinks are particularly harmful. If we could eliminate sugary drinks, we’d collectively cut out 37% of our sugar consumption. And there’s evidence that artificial sweeteners inflict the same kind of damage as real sugar.

But life can still be sweet. “Added sugars” don’t include the sugars we find in fruits, berries, and vegetables. That’s because when we eat them, we also get their natural good fiber, which makes the sugar harder to digest and keeps it from overwhelming the liver.

Learn more about sugar and SugarScience.org. Watch Learn the Facts about Sugar – How Sugar Impacts Your Health today.

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Eating for Health and The Skinny on Obesity

750The UCTV series Eating for Health and The Skinny on Obesity are excellent resources for those eager to live healthy and prevent common nutrition related illnesses. In today’s world, it is easy to fall prey to the temptations of comfort foods and drinks. Dr. Robert Baron, UCSF Associate Dean for Graduate and Continuing Medical Education, values the opportunity to share results from the latest scientific research regarding nutrition to help people make healthier choices in their everyday lives.

25717Internationally known endocrinologist and star lecturer of the popular UCTV video, Sugar: The Bitter Truth, Dr. Robert Lustig analyzes the issue of obesity in the new documentary, The Complete Skinny on Obesity. Dr. Lustig and his UCSF colleagues Elissa Epel and Barbara Laraia explain why what we eat is just as important as how much we eat and look into the effects of stress and other factors on obesity rates.. Learn about the root causes of obesity, and why experts anticiapte that the next generation will die significantly younger than it’s predecessor due to obesity its related health issues.

25641Powered by the UCSF Osher Mini Medical School for the Public, Eating for Health is a new series that explores the topics of health and nutrition, as well as the prevention and treatment of common nutrition-related illnesses. In Fat Chance: Fructose 2.0, Dr. Lustig gives an update on the effects of processed sugar on our hormone systems and how this contributes to obesity. Read How Sweet is Sweet? for more information about everyday sweeteners.

Be sure to visit Eating for Health and The Skinny on Obesity websites for more from UCSF’s doctors, nurses and nutritionists as they explore eating for health (and pleasure).

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What’s New in June on UCTV

Featured This Month
Program Highlights
New to Video On-Demand

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FEATURED THIS MONTH

UCTV Prime: Our Digital Life

With the conclusion of the popular “The Skinny on Obesity” series, our YouTube original channel UCTV Prime turns its attention to the role digital technology plays in helping us understand ourselves with the 3-part series “Our Digital Life,” premiering June 15. Discover how researchers at UC Merced are using cutting-edge digital tools across disciplines and centuries to help us understand the world we live in and how we operate within it.

You’ll also want to check out “UCTV Prime: Cuts” Tuesdays in June, when we’ll be featuring meaningful excerpts from the Dalai Lama’s recent visit to San Diego.

“Subtext,”New Interview Series from UCLA

Tune in this month for the premiere of “Subtext,” a new series featuring interviews with UCLA faculty authors about their latest books.

David Hayes Bautista, the History of Cinco de Mayo

Timothy Taylor, “Sounds of Capitalism”

Michael Ross, “The Oil Curse”

UCTV Regards Religion

From science to scripture, UCTV’s video collection will inspire endless ideas and discussion, no matter what your beliefs.

Regarding Religion on UCTV

A few highlights:

Burke Lecture: Interpreting Islam in Modern Context with Tariq Ramadan

Progressive Religion

Virtue, Deed and Word – Confucian Paths to Immortality


PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS (PACIFIC TIMES)

All programs repeat throughout the month. Visit the Program Schedule on our web site for additional air dates and times.

Health & Medicine

Health Matters: New Melanoma Screening Method

Why We are Always Learning to Move: The Science and Engineering of Adaptive Brains

Research on Aging: Sleep Disorders in Older Adults

The Genetics of Organ Development: A Blueprint for Regenerative Medicine

Anxiety: Sport Suspension on Life’s Bumpy Road

Applying Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy to Treatment: The Practicing Alternatives to Heal Depression Study

Health Effects of Climate Change at the Human-Animal-Interface

more >>

Science

CARTA: Culture-Gene Interactions in Human Origins

To Be Human: What Makes The Human Brain Human? with Terrence Sejnowski

Perspectives on Ocean Science: From the Titanic to the Tiny

Transistors and Integrated Circuits, from DC to the (far) Infrared (Doluca Family Endowed Chair Lecture)

How Many People Can the Earth Support?

more >>

Public Affairs

Philosophy and Activism with Peter Singer (Conversations with History)

Pakistan on the Brink with Ahmed Rashid, (Conversations with History)

China Airborne: Aviation and the Future of China with James Fallows and Peter Cowhey

Henrietta Lacks and Human Subject Research: A Look at Past, Present, and Future

The Global Impact of Climate Change: Balance Through Responsibility, Compassion and Human Consciousness with the Dalai Lama

more >>

Humanities

Story Hour in the Library: Isabel Allende

Lunch Poems: Richard Berengarten

Death and the Ancient Philosophers

more >>

Arts & Music

The Perspectives Showcase

more >>

Business

Reinventing Fire: Bold Business Solutions for the New Energy Era

more >>


New Online Videos and Podcasts

Motivation to Pursue Dreams and Hopes: Understanding the Brain’s Reward System

The Skinny on Obesity (Extra): Diet and Lifestyle Tips from UCSF Experts

more videos and podcasts >>

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Reigning in Sugar with Regulation – “The Skinny on Obesity” Series Finale

This week we wrap up “The Skinny on Obesity” series with an argument for why obesity is a public health and economic threat that’s worthy of the same treatment as other public health problems like smoking and drug abuse. For our experts, nothing short of wholesale change in what we expect from the food industry will make a dent in America’s obesity problem.

Some might call Dr. Lustig’s argument for the regulation of sugar as the creation of a “nanny state,” but he insists that food manufacturers already benefit tremendously from government subsidies and have limited  consumer choice to predominantly high-sugar foods– precisely how we got so fat in the first place. It’s a provocative argument and one worth hearing out. Watch “The Skinny on Obesity: Drugs, Cigarettes, Alcohol..and Sugar?”

But don’t stop there. We’ve made plenty of resources available, including an editorial by UCSF Public Health Professor Laura Schmidt, who backs up the argument for sugar regulation, as well as an overview of the research that supports such interventions.

We hope you’ve gotten as much out “The Skinny on Obesity” as we have working on it. I know many of us here at UCTV have already made changes in how we eat and think about food. While we still have the ocassional birthday cake in the office, you can be darn sure that we’re calculating the toll it takes on our bodies, brains and society at large. It still tastes pretty good though.

Stay tuned in June for the next UCTV Prime series, “Our Digital Life.” The three-part series premieres June 15 and explores how researchers at UC Merced are using digital technology to inform and influence our lives.

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