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Are Sugary Beverages the Cause of the American Obesity Epidemic?

With concern rising around our nation’s obesity epidemic, experts are frantically trying to determine what the specific causes are, and more importantly, what the solution is. Among a number of experts is Dr. Robert Lustig, the man who’s become the face of the ‘sugar is toxic’ movement.

Lustig, a pediatric endocrinologist at the University of California, gained notoriety after posting his lecture titled ‘Sugar: The Bitter Truth‘ on YouTube in 2009, which has since gained more than 2.3 million hits.

Lustig believes sugar is the major cause of most of the health-related diseases Americans are facing today, including obesity and type 2 diabetes. And he thinks that 75% of these diseases are preventable if we’d just cut back on our sugar consumption.

According to a recent CNN report, the average American teenager consumes about 4 pounds of sugar a week – which translates to 200 pounds a year. And based on the figures of our nation’s health as a whole, the average adult isn’t far behind.

When Dr. Sanjay Gupta asked Dr. Lustig if sugar is just empty calories or if it’s more than that, Lustig responded saying everyone thinks obesity is caused by eating too much and exercising too little. But he disagrees, saying obesity is a marker for metabolic disfunction. And if you look at what we’re eating in America, it’s not any more fat – it’s sugar. (more…)