EatingWell Interviews Robert Lustig on America's Obesity Epidemic

By Rachael Moeller Gorman, "3 Questions for the Sugar Warrior," January/February 2013

We talk with Robert Lustig about the role of government in obesity issues, why sugar is addictive and how people can lose weight.

"After reading about what Dr. Lustig says about sugar I have completely changed the way I eat. I was under the false assumption that fruit juice, honey and agave were healthy for me. Now that I know the truth I try very hard not to eat...

Robert Lustig, a pediatric endocrinologist at the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital, famously called sugar a poison in a medical lecture that went viral in 2009. Now he weighs in on the obesity epidemic. His new book, Fat Chance: Beating the Odds Against Sugar, Processed Food, Obesity, and Disease, explains why it’s so hard not to be obese in our society, and what we—and the government—need to do about it.

Should the federal government do something, such as put a cap on soda sizes, as New York City has done?
“Will [NYC Mayor Michael] Bloomberg’s Big Gulp ban solve obesity? Of course not. But am I for it? Absolutely, because it’s the first rational municipal step towards reducing consumption. Subsidize the right stuff and tax the wrong stuff— a carrot and stick approach. People [who eschew government intervention] think they’re fighting for their freedom. The freedom is already gone.

Next: What's Causing the Obesity Epidemic? »

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