Sugar: The Bitter Truth

by Joey deVilla on January 5, 2010

You might not think that a physician-delivered lecture would be interesting viewing, but I’m having trouble pulling myself away from this presentation from University of California, San Francisco’s Osher Center for Integrative Medicine, Sugar: The Bitter Truth. In the presentation, Dr. Robert H. Lustig argues that fructose – especially in the form of high-fructose corn syrup – is so bad for you that it should be classified as a poison; he also likens the way your body reacts to it as alcohol without the buzz.

According to Dr. Lustig, it’s not merely an issue of biochemistry but also industry – he points to the corn industry-sponsored Sweet Surprise site – and even politics. He puts some of the blame on this guy, whom he alleges wanted to make food a non-issue in presidential elections:

Richard M. Nixon

(“Everything bad that ever happened in this country started with this man,” he quips when he shows the slide.)

The presentation is just under an hour and a half, but the presenter and topic are so interesting that you won’t notice the time pass. It gets a little science-y in places, but no more so than a Discovery Channel science program. It’s been broken into 9 ten-minute segments, which means you can spread out your viewing over a week’s worth of breaks.

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Rodney January 5, 2010 at 3:56 pm

Great set of videos! He does a great job of breaking down the complex sections in an easy to understand manner.

Johnny January 6, 2010 at 1:38 pm

This is a great lecture. I watched it a month ago and it made me check the fructose content of a lot of the things I eat. I think he made the comparison of drinking a can of coke equivalent to having a beer, when it comes to the chemical processes in your liver. Bottom line, the science seems pretty compelling to avoid fructose.

Mary January 6, 2010 at 5:20 pm

Which is why I always, always choose beer over coke. The same calories, the same liver load, but it’s easier on the teeth.

Joey deVilla January 6, 2010 at 6:43 pm

Mary: I like your thinking! If you have a newsletter, I would choose to subscribe to it.

Anne Onimos January 6, 2010 at 9:11 pm

Oddly enough, we owe Aspartame (in part) to another Nixon (and later) administration man: Donald Rumsfeld. See

Put *that* in your cup and drink it.

Tommy Williams January 7, 2010 at 1:48 pm

If you don’t want to watch in 10-minute YouTube chunks, you can see the whole thing at

Ed Raymundo January 7, 2010 at 9:54 pm
Lee January 19, 2010 at 11:45 am

Thanks for posting this. Very eye-opening.

I’ve cross-posted.

Herbert Thornton February 24, 2014 at 4:06 pm

I first heard of Dr Lustig on 1 October 2013 when I watched his video. My weight on that day was 158 lbs.

I immediately stopped eating any food and any drink that (so far as I could discover) contained any sugar whatsoever.

It didn’t feel like being on a diet, because I found that my appetite at meals became satisfied much sooner.

Yesterday (23 February 2014) my weight was 135lbs.

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