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Robert  Lustig

Robert Lustig

Bestselling Author of Fat Chance


Robert H. Lustig, M.D. is Professor of Pediatrics, in the Division of Endocrinology and Member of the Institute of Health Policy Studies at the University of California, San Francisco. Dr. Lustig is a neuroendocrinologist, whose research focuses on the regulation of energy balance by the central nervous system. He is currently investigating the contribution of nutritional, neural, hormonal and genetic influences in the expression of the current obesity epidemic and diabetes both in children and adults.  Read More >

Dr. Lustig is the author of the New York Times bestseller Fat Chance: Beating the Odds Against Sugar, Processed Food, Obesity, and Disease where he documents the science and the politics that has led to the pandemic of chronic disease over the last 30 years. Fat Chance debunks the widely held notion to prove “a calorie is NOT a calorie,” and takes that science to its logical conclusion to improve health worldwide. He is also the author of many articles, chapters and reviews on childhood obesity, including the academic volume Obesity before birth and the popular book The Fat Chance Cookbook.

Prior to coming to San Francisco in 2001, Dr. Lustig worked at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, TN. There, he was charged with the endocrine care of many children whose hypothalami had been damaged by brain tumors, or subsequent surgery, radiation, or chemotherapy. Many patients who survived became massively obese. This has led him to explore the specific role of fructose (half of sucrose and high-fructose corn syrup) as a specific mediator of both chronic disease, and continued caloric consumption. His now notorious YouTube video, “Sugar: The Bitter Truth” continues its popularity with the lay public and has been viewed more than three million times.

He has mentored 20 pediatric endocrine fellows and trained numerous other allied health professionals. He is the former Chairman of the Ad hoc Obesity Task Force of the Lawson Wilkins Pediatric Endocrine Society, a current member of the Obesity Task Force of the Endocrine Society and a member of the Board of Directors of the American Heart Association of the Bay Area. He also consults for several childhood obesity advocacy groups and is President of The Institute for Responsible Nutrition, a non-profit dedicated to eradicating childhood obesity and Type 2 diabetes.

A native of Brooklyn, NY, Dr. Lustig graduated from MIT, received his M.D. from Cornell University Medical College and his Masters of Studies of Law from UC Hastings College of the Law in 2013. In his speeches, Dr. Lustig clarifies the complexities of obesity in an accessible, insightful and often humorous manner. Read Less ^

Speaker Videos

Sugar - The Bitter Truth

Putting Blame on the Victim

Misconceptions - Soda

Speech Topics

Fat Chance: Beating the Odds Against Sugar, Processed Food, Obesity & Disease

In the late 1970s when the government mandated we get the fat out of our food, the food industry responded by pouring more sugar in. The result has been a perfect storm, disastrously altering our biochemistry and driving our eating habits out of our control. To help us recover our health, Dr. Lustig presents personal strategies to readjust the key hormones that regulate hunger, reward and stress; and societal strategies to improve the health of the next generation. Compelling, controversial and completely based in science, Dr. Lustig debunks the widely held notion to prove “a calorie is NOT a calorie,” and takes that science to its logical conclusion to improve health worldwide.