Two Presentations with Dr. Lustig offered by the New Jersey Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and the American Academy of Pediatrics, New Jersey Chapter offered April 12, 2019 in East Brunswick, NJ
Tooth Decay and Liver Decay
Mountain Dew Mouth has been the scourge of dentists for decades. But there’s a new disease which affects even more people: Mountain Dew Liver. Non-Alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) wasn’t even discovered until 1980; and now up to 1/3 of Americans suffer from it. Especially children – 13% of autopsies in children show NAFLD; and 38% of of obese children. Both tooth decay and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease rates have increasing. And excessive sugar consumption explains both.
Dietary sugar is composed of one molecule each of glucose and fructose. It is the fructose that is the primary driver of both diseases. While glucose contributes to the oral biofilm, fructose doesn’t. It is metabolized by oral bacteria into lactic acid, which readily diffuses though the biofilm and into the tooth. Alternatively, fructose gets turned into fat in the liver mitochondria, which drives NAFLD, which is the leading cause of liver transplantation now, surpassing alcohol. And yet who is most susceptible to both diseases? Children, because they are the biggest sugar consumers.
Doctors and dentists must be united in supporting public health measures to reduce chronic disease. Altering our diet is where public health prevention starts.
The Hacking of the American Child
Everyone is looking down. But especially kids. There is something unnatural about a 15 month old using an iPad to soothe himself or herself. Everyone assumes this is just the natural progression of our “tech society.” But what if this is doing harm to us, and to our brains? And what if children are more vulnerable than adults? Numerous politicians are calling for “reigning in” of the internet. Is this necessary?
We will answer five questions:
1) Is there such a thing as Tech Addiction?
2) Is it similar to or different than drug addiction?
3) Does technology lead to depression and suicide?
4) Have our minds been hacked?
5) Are children more at more risk?
The answers to these questions provide us a blueprint to harness technology for good, and not for ill.