Dr Robert Lustig is Professor Emeritus of Paediatrics, Division of Endocrinology at the University of California, San Francisco. While researching the toxic and addictive properties of sugar in "Fat Chance", Dr Lustig made an alarming discovery, the pursuit of happiness is being subverted by the pursuit of pleasure. "Dopamine" is how our brain rewards ourselves by telling us we need more, but excessive dopamine leads to addiction. "Serotonin" tells us we are content, and a deficiency in this leads to depression. Over the course of evolution, dopamine started to overtake serotonin as a means to keep the human race motivated. But in turn, happiness can never truly be attained as addition takes over instead.
Temptations are advertised everywhere, from sugar to drugs to social media, and Dr Lustig is not afraid to point the finger at the corporations and government as the perpetrators. Corporate America, he says, has created a downright mess: a harmful and inescapable epidemic of addiction, depression and chronic illness.
However, there is hope. The pursuit of happiness IS possible, even in the face of all this overwhelming seduction and constant advertisment. By responding to Dr Lustig's call to action, we can make a difference to our health, well-being and culture.
Dr Robert Lustig specialises in the field of neuroendocrinology, treating hormonal disorders in children, and he is interested in how the brain controls hormones and how hormones control the brain.
He was head of the UCSF paediatric obesity program for 17 years.
Dr Lustig has fostered a global discussion of metabolic health and nutrition, exposing some of the leading myths that underlie the current pandemic of diet-related disease. He believes the food business, by pushing processed food loaded with sugar, has hacked our bodies and minds to pursue pleasure instead of happiness; fostering today’s epidemics of addiction and depression.
Robert is a global best-selling author and his presentation on YouTube, Sugar, the Bitter Truth, has had 8.9 million views.