Fat Chance: Fructose 2.0 by Dr. Robert Lustig (Transcript)

Well you know what? I don’t believe in common sense. I believe in data. And that’s why we do research, because education consists mainly of what we have unlearned. In fact, if everything that we knew were true, there would be no reason for research, would there? I would never have to do any research because everything we knew was already right. In fact, everything we learned 10 years ago is already wrong, and everything we know today will be wrong 10 years from now and that’s why you do research, and the fact is the research tells us something very different.

So is this behavior, is this personal responsibility?

What do you think? There are 6 reasons to doubt this.

Number 1: no child chooses to be obese. The quality of an obese – life of an obese child is the same as a patient on cancer chemotherapy. Why would anyone choose this? In fact, children are ostracized.

Second, does diet work? Now everybody knows somebody who lost weight on a diet and then of course they gained it all back, and that’s what all the data shows. And the number of people who can actually maintain their weight loss for any length of time is vanishingly small. And if it weren’t true you wouldn’t be sitting here listening to me, because you’d say, well why do I have to listen to him?

Does exercise work? So, here are studies of exercise and this is the identity line here and you can see when compared with no treatment exercise resulted in very small weight loss across the board, one BMI point, bigger exercise 1.5 BMI points. Considering, we are all 7 to 8 BMI points more than we should be, that ain’t going to cut it, because exercise does not cause weight loss. Does not cause weight loss.

What does exercise do? It causes muscle gain, and that’s good because muscles have mitochondria, mitochondria burn energy. So you stay insulin sensitive because you have a place to put your energy instead of in your liver where it causes problems. So exercise is the single best thing you can do for yourself, but if you think it’s going to show up on the scale, think again.

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So when you stand on the scale, what are you measuring? You’re measuring 4 compartments at once. Bone, more is better; Muscle, more is better; Subcutaneous fat, more is better, I just showed you; and finally visceral fat, more is worse.


Now the visceral fat usually encompasses about 4% to 6% of your total body weight. So when you stand on the scale, what are you measuring? You don’t know, you can’t possibly know.

So we have all these doctors telling their patients, well if you’d only exercise you’d lose weight, and then of course they don’t because they’ve built muscle, which is good, but it doesn’t show up on the scale. And then they get depressed, because, oh, I was doing this to lose weight and it didn’t work, and so I might as well stop because obviously it doesn’t work for me.

This is the single most egregious thing doctors do to their patients today, and as far as I’m concerned, that’s almost malpractice. Because the data say otherwise.

Number 3, this isn’t just about America, and it’s not just about UK, it’s not just about Australia, yes we are the 3 fattest countries and we spent the least amount of our GDP on food, that’s true. But it’s going on everywhere, every country, every single country on the planet has shown an uptick in obesity. Some have shown an uptick in diabetes and some have shown a downtick. But for obesity, everybody’s going up, doesn’t matter where you look, every country has shown an increase.

Number 4, the poor are disproportionately affected, and they don’t have access to choices, they can’t even leave their house for fear of crime, how they’re going to exercise, how they’re going to let their kids out, to go play in the yard, when they might face a straight bullet. They don’t have a supermarkets, they live in food desserts, so if you don’t have a choice, how can you call it personal responsibility? You know, this is one of the most egregious, pejorative statements that there is.

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Number 5, the prevalence of obesity is going up in the group that you can least ascribe personal responsibility to, the toddler. The 2-5 year old group is going up the fastest, you want to say that that’s personal… oh you say the personal responsibility of the parent, right, for letting them have the sugar pops and the sodas, and the fruit juices, and everything else is, parents’ fault.

Except for one thing, we’ve been having an epidemic of obese 6 months olds, and they don’t diet and exercise.

So any hypothesis you want to proffer, you have to explain this as well and it’s even worse than that, because we have obesity in newborns. Newborns, okay? Birth weights gone up by 200 grams all over the world — all over the world over the last 25 years. And when you look at, when you do DEXA scans to figure out what the body composition is, it’s all fat, it’s all fat.

So these babies are laying down more fat before they’re ever born and fat cells want to get filled. That’s why we have obese 6 months old, because everybody is laying down more fat, so the question is how? Why? Why they are laying down more fat today?

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