Celebrating Science Benefit 2013-02-13

Darwin, Diet, Disease and Dollars
How the Sugar in Processed Foods Has Changed Society

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Hall
1230 York Avenue at 66th Street
The Rockefeller University

6:00 p.m.

6:30 p.m.

Cocktail Reception & Lab Tours
8:00 p.m.

Business Attire.

Tickets start at $500. Purchase tickets online or contact Emmeline Cardozo for ticket information.

Robert H Lustig, M.D. The corn-based sweeteners in canned soda, and even the sugar in your morning coffee, are potentially toxic. That is the viewpoint of pediatric endocrinologist ROBERT H. LUSTIG, M.D., who became an overnight sensation after a video of his lecture “Sugar: The Bitter Truth” was posted online in May 2009. Since then, the lecture has been viewed more than 2 million times, influencing the discussion about the connections between dietary sugar, obesity in young people, and the long-term risk of developing such chronic health conditions as diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease.

Fructose, a component of both table sugar and high-fructose corn syrup, is a pervasive ingredient in processed foods, as well as sodas, sports drinks, and many bottled juices. Based on his own research and his reading of reports from other laboratories, Dr. Lustig believes that diets high in fructose are particularly harmful to the liver and other organs. He has also proposed that the sweeteners in processed foods are habit forming. In his view, this sets the stage for the metabolic diseases that are now common in industrialized societies.

Because foods and beverages with added sweeteners are relentlessly marketed to young people, Dr. Lustig has become an advocate for public health measures designed to reduce consumption. These could include limiting availability (controlling the contents of school vending machines, for example) and levying sales taxes high enough to discourage overuse. He also hopes that education can make a difference. As he often points out, efforts to curb cigarette smoking and enforce seat belt use were initially met with heavy resistance from the industries whose profits were threatened. Now they are part of everyday life.

Parents & Science is delighted to present a special lecture by Dr. Robert Lustig, a Brooklyn native and graduate of Stuyvesant High School, MIT, and Cornell University Medical College. In the 1980s, Dr. Lustig conducted postdoctoral research at The Rockefeller University and served as an associate physician of The Rockefeller University Hospital. He is now a professor of pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco, where he directs the Weight Assessment for Teen and Child Health (WATCH) Program.

Richard Lifton, M.D., Ph.D.
The Rockefeller University

Parents & Science
Faculty Advisor

Bruce S. McEwen, Ph.D.
Alfred E. Mirsky Professor
Harold and Margaret Milliken Hatch
Laboratory of Neuroendocrinology

Parents & Science Leadership


Daniella Lipper Coules
Talbott Simonds

Steering Committee

Rebecca Anikstein
John Bernstein
Charles W. Caulkins
Karen de Saint Phalle
Blair Pillsbury Enders
Wendy Ettinger
Kathy Heinzelman
Tania Neild, Ph.D.
Ilona Nemeth
Marean Pompidou
Courtney Smith Rae
Loli Echavarria Roosevelt
Kimberly Kravis Schulhof
Roxy Zajac

Scientific Advisory Council

Evelyn Attia, M.D.
BJ Casey, Ph.D.
Myron Hofer, M.D.
Ilene Sackler Lefcourt
Margaret McCarthy, Ph.D.
Richard Nisbett, Ph.D.
Michael Thompson, Ph.D.

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