The addictiveness of sugar, the efficacy and political realities of sugar taxes, what corporate responsibility looks like, school and workplace interventions and much more were the focus of discussions at the 7th annual FIZZ Symposium in Auckland last week.
The symposium – “Sweet As? Sugar’s impact on our health” featured a wide range of speakers, including dentists, mainstream and Māori public health, community sports groups and even the industry, showing the depth of support for the growing movement to curb sugar and improve our nation’s health and wellbeing.
HPF’s Dr Viliami Puloka said the symposium was excellent and speakers such as Dr Peter Brukner Professor of Sports Medicine, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia had issued a warning — “we are getting fatter and sicker”.
“He stressed that fatty foods used to get the blame for causing obesity but increasing evidence shows that it is sugars and starches that play a big role in the obesity epidemic. And of course, sugary drinks are an efficient way of hiding the calories,” said Dr Puloka.
Professor Selena Bartlett, an internationally recognised researcher in the field of addiction and obesity addressed a neglected but important topic in the nutrition world – the issue of sugar addiction.
“Her research reveals that sugar is as addictive as alcohol and nicotine,” said Dr Puloka. “This has led to a very important thing they are doing to tackle obesity — the development and testing of the first clinically tested mobile health app to track added sugar.”