U.S. consumption of sugar has doubled in the past 30 years. Similarly, worldwide consumption of sugar has tripled during the past 50 years and has contributed to 35 million deaths annually from diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer, even in developing countries. Leading experts from throughout UCSF have been making headlines with their urgent societal plea to reduce sugar consumption and ease the burden on public health.
Pediatric endocrinologist Robert Lustig, MD, public health policy sociologist Laura Schmidt, PhD, MSW, MPH, and pediatrics and health policy specialist Claire Brindis, DrPH, MPH, recently published in the journal Nature that sugar is a primary culprit in the worldwide health crisis and warrants societal intervention similar to that of alcohol. Dr. Lustig was also featured on CBS 60 Minutes and ABC Good Morning America.
UCSF Center for Vulnerable Population's Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, MD, PhD, and her colleagues also published an article suggesting that a tax on sweetened beverages would prevent nearly 100,000 cases of heart disease, 8,000 strokes, and 26,000 deaths over the next decade -- plus prevent 240,000 cases of diabetes per year.