'The Skinny on Obesity' with Robert Lustig Concludes, All Episodes Now Available on UCTV Prime's YouTube Channel

LA JOLLA, Calif., May 31, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- America's obesity problem has reached startling proportions, but Dr. Robert Lustig's message -- that sugar is a toxin that's fueling the obesity epidemic -- has become downright infectious ever since his UCSF talk, "Sugar: The Bitter Truth," appeared on University of California Television's (UCTV) YouTube channel in 2009. With over 2.4 million views to date, the video has sparked a national dialogue, earned coverage in The New York Times and "60 Minutes" (to name a few) and inspired UCTV to go more in-depth on the subject with "The Skinny on Obesity," a 7-part series featuring Dr. Lustig that premiered in April on the YouTube original channel, UCTV Prime. After completing its seven-week run, "The Skinny on Obesity" and its related blog and bonus content are all available for online viewing at the series website and the UCTV Prime YouTube channel.

Throughout the series, Dr. Lustig, a 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, which have already been viewed over 300,000 times, provide a comprehensive perspective on an issue that affects everyone, of any weight. The series website also provides links to relevant research studies, quizzes and helpful tips for viewers looking to get a grip on their sugar consumption.

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

"An Epidemic for Every Body (Ep. 1)"

How did we get so fat, so fast? The first 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.

"Sickeningly Sweet (Ep. 2)"

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.

"Hunger and Hormones: A Vicious Cycle (Ep. 3)"

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.

"Sugar: A Sweet Addiction (Ep. 4)"

It's not 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.

"Generation XL (Ep. 5)"

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.

"A Fast-Paced, Fast Food Life (Ep. 6)"

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.

"Drugs, Cigarettes, Alcohol...and Sugar? (Ep. 7)"

In the series finale, 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.

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 http://www.uctv.tv, on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/uctv and http://www.youtube.com/uctvprime, on iTunesU in the Beyond Campus section, and on cable in select cities throughout California. For a complete list of UCTV's outlets, visit http://www.uctv.tv/wheretowatch.



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