sugar

Sugar consumption has more than tripled worldwide in the past 50 years, contributing to an elevated burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as obesity, type 2 diabetes and certain forms of cancer.

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Professor Susan Jebb

1 Jun 2015

Time: 17:30 - 18:30

1-7 Wellington Square (Rewley House), Oxford, Oxfordshire, OX1 2JA

Book online here

Susan Jebb is a nutrition scientist who has spent more than 25 years studying the links between what we eat and the effect on our weight and risk of cardiovascular disease. Her research includes a mix of observational analyses from prospective cohorts, experimental studies, and both controlled and pragmatic dietary intervention studies. In this talk she will consider how evidence from these diverse sources informs dietary recommendations. Drawing on her experience as a scientific advisor to the Department of Health on obesity and food policy, and a raft of public engagement activities, including the recent Horizon series “What’s the right diet for you?”, she will consider how scientific evidence is translated into policy and practice.

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Food and Behaviour Research presents a one-day conference on:

Sugar, Fat, Food and Addiction: New Approaches to the Public Health Crisis with Prof. Robert Lustig MD

Date: Thursday 10 July, 2014

Time: 9.30 am to 4.30 pm (registration from 9.00 am)

Venue: The Royal College of Surgeons, Lincoln’s Inn Fields, London WC2A

FAB Research is extremely proud to offer this opportunity to hear from our highly distinguished panel of international researchers and expert practitioners, who will present and discuss potential new approaches to the growing public health crisis, focused on the latest evidence linking food and diet with behaviour.

Our central theme is the controversial issue of whether some nutrients, foods or dietary patterns may actually promote (or reduce) ‘addictive’ behaviours. Sugar has recently come under the spotlight in this respect, although the scientific evidence in this area, and its implications, still remain hotly debated.

Related topics under discussion will include obesity and other eating disorders, alcoholism and other substance use disorders, antisocial behaviour, and other mental health conditions in which impulsivity and poor self-control play a key role, such as ADHD. 

Presentations and discussions will be focused on both the latest scientific evidence and its broader implications for  policymakers, professionals, food industry representatives and the general public.

For more information, and to book your place, please visit the FAB Research website.

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Mike Rayner and David Stuckler were interviewed in a recent episode of Dispatches on Channel 4, which asked the question: "are we addicted to sugar?"

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The number of obese adults in the UK could be reduced by 180,000 with a 20% tax on sugary drinks, say researchers at the University of Oxford and the University of Reading. The tax could raise over £275 million for the Treasury.

The researchers from the British Heart Foundation Health Promotion Research Group at the University of Oxford and the Centre for Food Security at the University of Reading have published their findings in the British Medical Journal.

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By Colin Mitchell, University of Oxford and Mike Rayner, University of Oxford

An EU decision to allow health claims to be made about fructose has angered obesity experts who blame the fruit sugar for rising obesity levels in the US. The decision allows food and drink manufacturers to claim the “consumption of foods containing fructose leads to a lower blood glucose rise compared to foods containing sucrose or glucose”, where at least 30% of other sugars have been replaced by fructose.

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A number of journal articles have recently been published by members of our Food Research Network on the topic of nutrition and obesity.

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Mike Rayner, Director of the British Heart Foundation Health Promotion Research Group, was quoted in the Guardian on Saturday in an article about sugar, obesity, and the pros and cons of a tax on sugary foods and drinks.

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A report has just been released on the health impacts of a proposed 10% tax on sugary drinks in Ireland.

The working group who produced this report, commissioned by the Irish Minister for Health, had the expertise of Mike Rayner and his team from Oxford University who carried out modelling work on the financial tax implication for Ireland.

Conclusions based on evidence presented by the HIA process:

  • Obesity is multifaceted with many factors influencing the basic drivers of energy intake and energy expenditure including environment, socio-economic, psycho-social and genetic factors.
  • Sugar Sweetened Drinks (SSDs) are a source of energy intake with little or no other nutrient contribution to the diet.
  • Price increases tend to decrease demand by the degree to which this happens is variable because consumer behaviour and industry response to a tax is difficult to predict.
  • There is evidence linking Sugar Sweetened Drinks consumption with increases in energy intake.
  • The evidence linking Sugar Sweetened Drinks consumption with weight gain is suggestive but not conclusive.

The Working Group were broadly of the view that there was evidence to suggest that SSDs are associated with weight gain and that an SSD levy should not be seen as a revenue generating issue but rather a measure to change behaviour. They agreed that if this tax were implemented there would be a need for good monitoring and evaluation.

Read the entire report here

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