Dr. Robert H.Lustig | The Obesity Epidemic in America | Nahmad Speaker Series

[Transcript] [Al & Jane Nahmad] [Speaker Series: Thought Leaders in Medicine] [Neuroendocrinologist and Professor of Pediatrics] Robert H. Lustig, M.D.: Everybody familiar with Einstein's theory of insanity? Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. Well, we've been doing the same thing over and over again now for the past 35 years. And there is no different result, and it's time to rethink the paradigm. It's time to rethink what has happened to our society, what has happened to medical care, what has happened to our food. And that is what today is about. And I'm going to try to give you some reasons to rethink it. Y. [Robert giving speech] Robert H. Lustig: Dr. Zephyr said I was a thought leader. I would rather say I was a flame thrower. I hope that when we're done, I will have completely decimated the previous nutritional architecture that we have put in place in favor of one that actually works. So let's start. [Obesity is the problem?] Robert H. Lustig: Here's the past. 2001, 13 years ago, six million kids are seriously overweight. Well, with all of the media attention, with all of the clinical programs, with all of the changes in healthcare and daycare, with all of the medications available with bariatric surgery being done in children, with Michelle Obama's vegetable gardens, we are now up to 20 million. [Inclusive view of obesity and metabolic dysfunction] Robert H. Lustig: Here's the present. Currently, there are 30% more obese people walking the planet than there are undernourished people. 371 million diabetics wandering the planet at 6% of the world's population, and they are chewing through all the healthcare resources. There's no money for anything else. So much so that the UN Secretary General Bon Ki-moon three years ago, declared that non-communicable disease was now a bigger problem for the developing world than was the developed world, including HIV. [Graph and newspaper of growing obesity rates] Robert H. Lustig: But here's the future if we do nothing. Experts predict 165 million Americans, 42% will be obese by 2030. 100 million Americans will have diabetes by 2050, one third of the US population. But it really won't matter because Medicare will be broke by the year 2026. Robert H. Lustig: So here's the issue. People think, "Oh, this is because doctors bills are so high or hospital costs are so much. Or if big pharma is charging so much." Well there are the three of them and there's the increase that's going on. This isn't going to hospitals or physicians or big pharma or infrastructure. This is going to chronic metabolic disease. That's where this money is going. It's about obesity. Is it? Robert H. Lustig: Obesity is increasing worldwide at the rate of 1% per year. Yet diabetes is increasing worldwide at the rate of 4% per year. If diabetes were just a subset of obesity, how could you explain that? Well, you can't because it ain't true because obesity is not the problem. People don't die of obesity. It's not even listed on the death certificate. It's not even a cause of death. Robert H. Lustig: Here's what we're talking about. We're talking about metabolic syndrome and this is where all the money goes. 75% of all healthcare dollars go to the treatment of the diseases of metabolic syndrome. And here's the list. Each one of these is a chronic metabolic disease, including cancer and dementia. Diabetes being the hallmark one that we have the most data on and that's the one that's gone through the roof. The question is what's happened? Robert H. Lustig: So this is the most important set of slides I'm going to show you because if this doesn't make the point, nothing will. Robert H. Lustig: Here's a Venn diagram of the US adult population, 240 million adults, 30% obese, 70% normal weight. That is BMI anywhere from 18 to 30. Everybody got it? Robert H. Lustig: The standard mantra from everyone is the following: 80% of that 30%, 80% of the obese people are sick. They get type two diabetes. They get hypertension. They get dyslipidemia. They get cardiovascular disease. They get cancer. They get dementia. That 80% of 30%, those 57 million people, they're the problem. They're costing us the money. They are gluttons and sloths. And if they would only just diet and exercise, we could solve this problem. That's what everyone says. Robert H. Lustig: Garbage, complete, and utter trash. How? How come? Here's why? Yeah, 80% of the obese population is sick. No question. That means 20% aren't. 20% of the obese population are metabolically healthy, known as the metabolically healthy obese. They will live a completely normal life. Die at a completely normal age, not cost the taxpayer a dime. They're just fat. [End Transcript]

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