The Truth About Sugar

Aug 12, 2013

Sugar may be sweet, but it’s gained a bad reputation lately, and its rap sheet seems to just keep growing. Studies link its consumption to afflictions like diabetes, obesity, heart disease, cancer.  A new University of Utah study suggests that sugar isn’t even healthy at supposedly “safe” doses. It could reduce reproduction rates and lead to an early grave. Tuesday we’re putting sugar under the microscope. We’ll take a peek at its cultural history, and we’ll also inspect the growing case for labeling sugar a toxic ingredient.

Got some time to kill and want to know more about chronic disease and its link to diet/suger? Read this 150-page report by the World Healh Organization. Dr. Robert Lustig referred to it on today's show.

In this widely viewed YouTube video, Dr. Robert Lustig explores the damage caused by sugary foods. 


  • Wayne Potts is a Professor of Biology at the University of Utah. He led a recent study examining “safe” sugar consumption levels in mice. That study appears in the journal Nature Communications.
  • James Ruff is a former PhD student at the University of Utah. He co-conducted the study of sugar consumption in mice.
  • Dr. Robert Lustig is a pediatric endocrinologist at the University of California, San Francisco where he is a Professor of Clinical Pediatrics. He’s a noted expert of obesity studies and the author of the book Fat Chance: Beating the Odds Against Sugar, Processed Foods, Obesity and Disease [Amazon|Indiebound].
  • Rich Cohen is the author of many books, including Sweet and Low: A Family Story [Amazon|Indiebound]. His new book Monsters: The 1985 Chicago Bears and the Wild Heart of Football [Amazon|Indiebound] will be released in October. His article “Sugar Love: A Not So Sweet Story” appears in the August issue of National Geographic.