Two thirds of the US adult population and one third of the pediatric population is overweight or obese. The rates of diabetes, hypertension and heart disease parallel our societies increasing girth. These "adult" diseases are now commonly seen in our overweight and obese children. What does this mean for the future health and longevity of our children? What ultimate price will our nation pay with this trend? What are some of the factors contributing to this trend? Could WHAT we eat affect HOW much we eat? Who's really in charge of our food supply?
Dr. Robert Lustig will share some of his research findings and challenge some traditional thoughts on the causes of obesity. Join us to learn why obesity may not be all about lack of will power but related to the condition of our food supply and what it will take in Washington to prevent a health crisis. Walk away with an entirely different set of tips, tricks, best practices, and attitudes.
Robert H. Lustig, M.D. is Professor of Clinical Pediatrics, in the Division of Endocrinology at the University of California, San Francisco. Dr. Lustig is a neuro-endocrinologist, with basic and clinical training relative to hypothalamic development, anatomy, and function. Dr. Lustig’s research focuses on the regulation of energy balance by the central nervous system. He is currently investigating the contribution of nutritional, neural,hormonal, and genetic influences in the expression of the current obesity epidemic both in children and adults. Dr. Lustig graduated from MIT in 1976,and received his M.D. from Cornell University Medical College in 1980. He is the author of many articles, chapters, and reviews on childhood obesity, including the recent volume “Obesity before birth”.
New York Times bestselling author and acclaimed science writer Gary Taubes delivered a lecture on March 30, “Why We Get Fat: Adiposity 101 and the Alternative Hypothesis of Obesity,” as part of a series of events sponsored by Harvard Law School’s Food Law Society.
Presenting findings from his fourth book, "Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It" (December 2010), Taubes said he wrote to the book to “convince public health authorities that they should rethink everything they know…about obesity and chronic disease.”
In his landmark best seller, “Good Calories, Bad Calories” (2007), Taubes argued that the obesity epidemic can be directly linked to the overemphasis on certain kinds of carbohydrates in the average diet, rather than to an excess of fats or calories. The book was borne out of a piece Taubes wrote for The New York Times Magazine in 2002 called "What if It's All Been a Big Fat Lie?," which brought both controversy and acclaim. In this week’s New York Times Magazine Taube outlines the case against sugar in his article “Is Sugar Toxic?”
“Obesity occurs when a person consumes more calories from food than he or she burns,” Taubes said in his introduction to his talk. “That’s how the NIH [National Institute of Health] puts it. The US surgeon general says that being overweight is a result of caloric imbalance and is mediated by genetics and health.
“How many people believe this? How many people in here think this is meaningful?”
Over the course of the lecture, Taubes explained why he believes that research and discourse surrounding nutritional science in the past century have been misguided and damaging.
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The Food Law Society provides students with hands-on exposure to the numerous issues in law, policy, science and management that confront professionals in the field of food law. Members participate in clinical projects and conferences, host speakers, and collaborate with groups throughout the University and the world in their effort to address food issues.
Recent Food Law Society events have provide opportunities for leading experts in food law, policy and science to provide critical analyses of primary scientific literature on the subject of nutrition, and for students to gain insight into recent developments in agriculture as well as an understanding of the nutritional requirements for optimum health and performance.
Most recently, the society hosted a discussion of the dietary factors involved in the development of the metabolic syndrome and autoimmune diseases with Dr. Mathieu Lalone titled “The Science of Nutrition,” as well as a talk by Professor Frederick Kaufman of the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, “The Food Bubble: How Wall Street Starved Millions, Got Away With It . . . and Is Doing It Again,” regarding the relationship between financial speculation and world hunger.