Editor's note: Laura Schmidt and her colleagues, Robert Lustig and Claire Brindis, are the authors of "The toxic truth about sugar." To read the full commentary, visit the science journal Nature.
I am a medical sociologist, which means I study the health of whole societies. I've spent more than 20 years studying the best possible ways to address alcohol problems in societies - what works and what doesn't to protect people from harm.
I work as a professor in the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine and at the UCSF Clinical and Translational Science Institute. This allows me to connect with other scientists who come from very different backgrounds but who want to work together on big problems - think of a Manhattan Project, only one focused on protecting health through the collaboration of scientists who study everything from tiny cells to entire societies.
So three years ago, a pediatric endocrinologist named Rob Lustig walks into my office and asks for my help. Rob tells me that he's finding many connections between the metabolism of fructose (sugar) and ethanol (alcohol) in his work on metabolic functioning, liver damage and the obesity epidemic.
Read the full story - Opinion: Why we should regulate sugar like alcohol