I have just spent an hour and half watching this youtube video:
It is all about how sugar and fructose has a lot to answer for in metabolic syndrome (high blood pressure, obesity and type II diabetes) and obesity in general. It was a very interesting watch – a real revision of biochemistry.
I was aware that fructose is metabolised in the liver in much the same way as ethanol but I wasn’t really aware (because I hadn’t thought in depth about it) the negative consequences that implies.
I supported the new sugar campaign http://www.actiononsalt.org.uk/actiononsugar but I was a bit reluctant to lay the blame of obesity at sugar’s door so completely as the campaign does. After watching this presentation I would say from a metabolic point of view it is hard to disagree. We must not forget the importance of fibre and exercise, regular meals etc in obesity and well being – which is highlighted in the video but maybe not so clear in the action on sugar’s web page.
This presentation does show that a huge demand must be made of government and industry to do much more to reduce sucrose and fructose from manufactured foods. Without a big move from industry, regulated or voluntary, it is very hard to shift the population’s sugar consumption by educating individuals alone. Public Health needs collaboration across government, education, industry and from individuals. We saw from work on salt that initiatives to reduce salt in processed foods can reduce the population’s intake and there should be a similar body of work carried out with sugar.
Very interesting lecture indeed – he makes even the biochemistry accessible, I would have enjoyed biochemistry a lot more with him as a lecturer.