The Sugar Debate – the plot thickens

by | Jun 18, 2014

Since the beginning of this year, I’ve been involved in the debate around sugars and fruit juice, and have been trying to build a consensus of expert opinion from key nutritionists and dietitians, as summarised in my sugar debate blog. June and July are packed with sugar seminars, and the UK Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) Draft Report on dietary recommendations on carbohydrates (including advice on sugar), is due out imminently.

fruit juice

My biggest aspiration about debates around sugar is that they need to be evidence-based and balanced. Government recommendations are devised from quality research, and nutritionists need to be constantly up to date so we can better inform the public and help minimise mixed media messages, which only lead to confusion and a lack of confidence in “the experts”. So, when I saw the programme for The Sugar Reduction Summit, I knew I had to be there.

Why join the sugar debate?

I write this blog in the hope that I might attract like-minded nutrition professionals to join the debate. Our opinions are valid and we need to voice them. Our unique skills help the public decipher the science and adopt realistic and practical dietary improvements.

  • Is sugar really the new tobacco?
  • Is there substantiated evidence that sugar causes obesity or type 2 diabetes?
  • Should sugar reduction be a health priority?

About The Sugar Reduction Summit – Wed 9th July

I’m looking forward to hearing from the influential speakers, including Prof Susan Jebb, Prof Jason Halford and one of my personal gurus from my diabetes work, Prof Jim Mann.

Other speakers include Public Health England, Which? and the British Heart Foundation. And it will be good to hear my old colleagues Prof Jack Winkler and Kate Halliwell too. Obviously a platform is given to Action on Sugars’ Prof Graham MacGregor and Prof Robert Lustig, whom I’m sure will add some spice to the sugar debate!

red chillies

The fact that the full title of the conference is Sugar Reduction Summit – Science, Policy and Public Health and the line up of speakers includes representation from all sides of the argument, makes me feel that this is likely to be a focussed and balanced event. Hopefully it will be an opportunity for policy makers and key stakeholders to come together and explore the evidence, and to discuss how harmful sugar really is and how gradual sugar reduction might be achieved within the context of a varied and enjoyable diet.

Get a 50% discount!

I have spoken to the organisers of the Summit and shared my concerns that the ticket price may be unaffordable for freelance dietitians or those working in public health. Yet it’s vital that our voice is heard at the Summit and that we are able to contribute to the debate. They have agreed and have allocated 10 tickets at a massive 50% discount to be used by freelancers or small organisations that don’t have the budget for a full price ticket. To receive the discounted rate, you need to enter this code into a coupon box at check out: First10onlyminus50pc. Only 10 tickets will be available at this price, on a first come first serve basis.

I’ll be tweeting live from the event on 9th July 2014, so do look out for my @sugarsummituk #sugardebate update tweets on the day. And if you happen to be attending, let’s share insights over a coffee!

More info

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