LA JOLLA, CA Is sugar a toxin that s fueling the global obesity epidemic? That s the argument UCSF s Dr. Robert Lustig makes in Sugar: The Bitter Truth, a video that appeared on University of California Television s (UCTV) YouTube channel in 2009 and has since gone viral with over 2.2 million views, sparking a national dialogue and warranting coverage in The New York Times and most recently on 60 Minutes. On UCTV Prime s new series, The Skinny on Obesity, Dr. Lustig and two of his UCSF colleagues tease out the science behind this alarming claim and the dire threat it poses to global public health. The 7-part documentary series premieres April 13 on UCTV Prime, a YouTube original channel, with new episodes every Friday. Video and bonus content are available at

Throughout the series, Dr. Lustig, a UCSF pediatric endocrinologist at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital, and his colleagues Elissa Epel and Barbara Laraia, co-directors of the UCSF Center for Obesity Assessment, Study and Treatment (COAST), unpack the scientific and sociological factors that have contributed to the startling rise in obesity rates over the last 30 years. Featuring interviews, charts and graphic visualizations, the 6 to 10-minute episodes provide a comprehensive perspective on an issue that affects everyone, of any weight.

The Skinny on Obesity, an original YouTube series from UCTV Prime

April 13 An Epidemic for Every Body How did we get so fat, so fast? The debut episode debunks the theory that obesity only affects the gluttons and sloths among us and is, in fact, a public health problem that impacts everyone.

April 20 Sickeningly Sweet Dr. Lustig illustrates the overabundance of sugar in today s processed convenience foods and explains how our bodies metabolize these sugars in the same way as alcohol or other toxins, causing damage to the liver and other organs.

April 27 Hunger and Hormones: A Vicious Cycle Sugar impacts the brain just as much as the waistline. In this episode, Dr. Lustig explains the biochemical shifts that sugar causes, making us store fat and feel hungry at the same time.

May 4 Sugar: A Sweet Addiction Sugar isn t just sweet, it s addictive. This episode explores the cycle of addiction that sugar causes in the brain, much in the same way as drugs and alcohol.

May 11 Generation XL An unnerving trend of obese infants is just one indication that obesity can be passed on from mother to fetus. This installment looks towards the next generation, with an emphasis on preventive care and pre-natal health.

May 18 A Fast-Paced, Fast Food Life The pace of modern life is a key contributor to today s obesity epidemic. Elissa Epel and Barbara Laraia explain the connection and offer practical and effective solutions that don t involve dieting and exercise.

May 25 Drugs, Cigarettes, Alcohol and Sugar? Our experts offer a frank indictment of the country s agricultural policy and food industry, which have made it nearly impossible to avoid sugar in our daily diet, and suggestions for possible remedies.

UCTV Prime launched March 1 as the first university-run channel to be included among YouTube s new production partnerships with recognizable brands like The Wall Street Journal, Madonna and TED. With documentary mini-series, interviews, commentaries and video shorts each week, UCTV Prime brings to light the innovations, trends, issues and personalities that shape our world, drawing on the tremendous knowledge resources of the University of California s ten campuses, five medical schools, three national labs and other affiliated institutions.

Based on the UC San Diego campus, UCTV presents educational and enrichment programming from the campuses, national laboratories, and affiliated institutions of the University of California. UCTV delivers science, health and medicine, public affairs, humanities and the arts to a general audience, as well as specialized programming for health care professionals, teachers and researchers. UCTV is available worldwide via live stream, video archives and podcasting at, on YouTube at and, on iTunesU in the Beyond Campus section, and on cable in select cities throughout California. For a complete list of UCTV s outlets, visit

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