Robert Lustig | “Corporate Wealth or Public Health?”

 

February 4, 2020

Mountain Dew Mouth has been the scourge of dentists for decades. But there’s a new disease which affects even more people: Mountain Dew Liver. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) wasn’t even discovered until 1980; and now up to 40% of Americans suffer from it, and it is now the leading cause of liver transplantation. Especially children – 13% of autopsies in children show NAFLD; and 38% of obese children. This disease belies all our other chronic diseases, including diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. And it is due to our excessive sugar consumption.

Dietary sugar is composed of one molecule each of glucose and fructose. It is the fructose that is the primary driver of both diseases. Fructose gets turned into fat in the liver mitochondria, which drives NAFLD, which is the leading cause of liver transplantation now, surpassing alcohol. And now children get the diseases of alcohol without alcohol, because they are the biggest sugar consumers. Altering our diet is where public health prevention starts. But the dark forces of Big Sugar conspire to keep us consuming even more. They employ many tactics, similar to those of Big Tobacco. But we are now wise to their efforts, and solutions are slowly being enacted to counter their influence.