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Show 802: Is a Calorie a Calorie? (Archive)

Nutrition experts have long insisted that a calorie is just a calorie, but evidence is mounting that the type of calories we consume makes a big difference.

The obesity epidemic in the U.S. has been increasing alarmingly. The usual explanation is that we eat too much and exercise too little. But is every calorie we eat the same as every other?

Too Much Sugar?

Some scientists think that the explanation lies in the type of food now found in our supermarkets.

Americans consume more than 150 pounds of sugar each year, on average, which comes to about 22 teaspoons of sugar daily. Much of that is hidden in processed food.

Dr. Robert Lustig, pediatric neuroendocrinologist at UCSF, believes that the processed food in our diet has contributed greatly to the epidemics of obesity and diabetes. He provides the biochemical explanation for why fructose is so damaging to children’s health. Adults suffer, too, from every excessive fructose calorie.

Is Sugar an Addiction?

Our other guest, Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum, believes that sugar should be treated as an addiction. He tells how to kick the habit.

This Week’s Guests:

Robert Lustig, MD, (pictured) is professor of clinical pediatrics in the Division of Endocrinology at the University of California, San Francisco. He also directs the Weight Assessment for Teen and Child Health (WATCH) Program there. His specialty is neuroendocrinology, with a specific emphasis on the regulation of energy balance by the central nervous system. Here is a link to his Mini Medical School presentation on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBnniua6-oM

Jacob Teitelbaum, MD, is medical director of the Fibromyalgia and Fatigue Centers and author of Beat Sugar Addiction Now and From Fatigued to Fantastic.

Listen to the Podcast:

The podcast of this program will be available the Monday after the broadcast date. Podcasts can be downloaded for free for six weeks after the date of broadcast. After that time has passed, digital downloads are available for $2.99. CDs may be purchased at any time after broadcast for $9.99.

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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies..
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