We’ve written before about the grossly exaggerated accusations against sugars made by Robert Lustig in his self-righteous crusade to turn public opinion against them. From flawed studies purportedly linking sugar consumption to Type II diabetes, to outrageous declarations that obesity is “bigger than the bubonic plague,” Lustig has a penchant for baselessly inciting fear in consumers’ minds. So it was quite interesting to read a recent blog post from NPR’s Barbara J. King actually agreeing with us that Lustig’s tactics have no place in an honest debate.
As King writes, though, it’s not just her opinion “that an alarmist ‘sugar is toxic’ mantra isn’t in the service of good science communication – or public health,” but also those of Lustig’s own colleagues in the scientific community:
Mark Kern, Professor of Exercise and Nutritional Sciences at San Diego State University, has pointed out that many of Lustig’s arguments are not scientifically supported, including his demonizing of fructose: only if 95 percent of our calorie intake were to come from fructose would we expect it to affect our metabolism in the ways Lustig describes. According to Kern, Lustig doesn’t even get the biochemistry right: fructose does not often (much less always, as Lustig has it) metabolize to fat.
As if that weren’t enough, King goes on to note that it was science writer David Despain who first alerted her to Kern’s critique of Lustig, and includes a link to Despain’s own withering review of Lustig’s “sensationalism” over science approach.
Needless to say then, that whenever Lustig makes his next “scientific” claim about sugar being the cause of the modern day black death, nary a consumer should be concerned. We’re just glad to see journalists and others in the scientific community catching on to Lustig’s reckless accusations and calling him out for what he really is: Wrong.