On Thursday, the U hosted Robert Lustig, a professor from University of California, San Francisco, to speak about how the American diet is negatively affecting our health, our wallets and our brain chemistry.
Lustig’s lecture, entitled “Darwin, Diet, Disease, and Dollars,” detailed how much money our government has put into fixing our health care system due to the problems caused by excess sugar in the American diet.
“More money is going into dying than is going into living,” he said. “In the United States, the food industry grosses $1 trillion a year. We spend over $2.7 trillion on health care, yet 75 percent of the health care costs go toward diseases that could be solved if we fixed the food industry.”
Anthony Iuso, a Ph.D student in neuroscience, was interested in attending the lecture, despite knowing much of the information beforehand.
“I really wanted to hear him speak on the topic,” he said. “It’s such an interesting way that he relates the food industry to our health care industry.”
Lustig has dedicated his life to examining what has gone wrong with our food industry and how it is causing diseases. He argued the U.S. food industry has taken control of our bodies.
“Processed food is the problem because it is high in sugar and low in fiber,” Lustig said. “It would seem that the easiest solution would be to fix the food industry in order to save our health care system and the lives of Americans, but they have no reason to change even though they are slowly killing our country. They have no impetus to change their practice.”
Lustig encouraged everyone, even broke college students, to take their diets into their own hands and make the change on a personal level. Wayne Potts, a biology professor at the U, said Lustig was more than qualified to speak on the diet and our evolution.
“He’s written over 100 scientific papers, six books, including cook books, and has won many awards,” Potts said. “He is committed to solving this health care crisis.”
To find out more about how to make changes in your life and diet, Lustig has formed a non-profit organization at responsiblefoods.org.