Food and Behaviour Research

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19 March 2015 - BBC ONE - The Truth About Sugar

It’s everyone’s favourite sweet treat and one of food’s greatest pleasures, but sugar is increasingly being portrayed in the papers as a major health risk.


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During our event with Prof Robert Lustig on 12th March, we captured some interviews with our speakers that you can view on the open access FAB Research YouTube Channel:

Professor Robert Lustig MD

Professor Michael Yudkin

FAB Research recommends the following books if you want to find out the truth about sugar:

Fat Chance: The bitter truth about sugar by Robert Lustig

Pure, White And Deadly: How sugar is killing us and what we can do to stop it

But what’s so bad about a few sweet treats and what exactly does sugar do in the body that makes it such a problem? Journalist Fiona Phillips is determined to sort fact from fiction as she looks beyond the sensational headlines to uncover the truth.

It’s a journey full of discoveries as she uncovers why some of us have more of a sweet tooth than others, which sugars you can enjoy guilt-free, why there is so much sugar hidden in food you would think was purely savoury and what effect sugary drinks have on the appetite.

To find out what too much sugar really does to our bodies Fiona will help four Brits, whose sugar-heavy diets could be putting their health at risk, to change their ways. From coming up with low sugar recipes to finding ways to beat the sweet cravings they will see whether cutting back to the levels suggested by health authorities is really achievable and what the benefits actually are. As the dieters progress on their journey it soon becomes clear that the transformations will be dramatic.

But this seemingly simple quest proves a superhuman challenge as Fiona discovers that sugar is hidden in places she never imagined. From ketchup to pad thai and bran flakes, many of our seemingly savoury supermarket foods contain surprisingly high levels of sugar. Incredibly even some healthy looking drinks like smoothies can contain your entire recommended sugar allowance in a single glass.

Fiona will also find out why manufacturers are adding so much sugar to their products. She will uncover how much exacting research goes into identifying the precise amount of sugar that will appeal to consumers.