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Elissa S. Epel, PhD

Professor

UCSF School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry

Elissa S. Epel, Ph.D., is a Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at UCSF. She is also a faculty member in the Health Psychology Postdoctoral Program, the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine, and the Robert Wood Johnson Health and Society Scholars Program. She is one of the founders and Director of COAST.  She received a BA in psychology from Stanford University, and a PhD in clinical psychology from Yale University, with a focus on health psychology.  She completed a clinical internship focusing on Behavioral Medicine at the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System.  Starting with her research on stress and training in the Yale Center for Eating and Weight disorders, she became interested in the intricate relationships between chronic psychological stress, eating behavior, and energy balance.   She studies how social and psychological factors affect cellular aging (telomeres), as well as eating behavior and food addiction.  She and her colleagues are testing how mindfulness based and behavioral interventions may improve metabolic health. 

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Growing scientific evidence shows that too much added sugar, over time, is linked to diabetes, heart disease and liver disease.

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Today, 31% of American adults and 13% of kids suffer from non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).

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Too much fructose in added sugar can damage your liver just like too much alcohol.

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