Calorie Control Council Comments to the Editor
Dr. Robert Lustig badly misses the mark when singling out fructose as a unique ‘cornerstone of the obesity epidemic’ in Food Industry Dooms Children to Obesity, Says Scientist. Allow me to correct errors of fact in his interview
Lustig describes the Western food environment as highly insulinogenic (insulin stimulating) and proposes increased fructose composition as a prime cause. Your readers should know that fructose is the least insulinogenic of common dietary sugars – half that of sucrose (table sugar) and one-fifth that of glucose (blood sugar). Using Dr. Lustig’s logic, our diets should be less insulinogenic today if fructose is truly to blame.
Further, fructose consumption in the diet has increased in proportion to increases in all foods in the diet – fats, protein and carbohydrates. Obese children eat more of everything than is healthy, not just selected food ingredients
Professor Michael Lean of the University of Glasgow put the obesity issue in proper perspective by concluding that the greatest contributors to childhood obesity – by far – are increased caloric intake and decreased exercise.
While it is inappropriate to blame children for poor food choices, Dr. Lustig is too quick to fix the blame solely on the food industry. There are already many reduced calorie, reduced fat and reduced carbohydrate food choices on supermarket shelves. Let’s educate parents and caregivers to choose wisely for their children and to teach their children to choose wisely for themselves