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Symposium on impacts of sugary drinks

Symposium on impacts of sugary drinks

The first symposium to focus on the health effects of sugary drinks will be held in Auckland next month.

‘Sugary Drink Free Pacific by 2030?’ is the theme of the symposium that will be hosted by the University of Auckland at the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences in February.

It is organised in conjunction with academics from the University of Auckland and the University of Otago, as well as the advocacy group, FIZZ that was set up last year to promote and support healthy drink choices.

Last year, FIZZ led by University of Auckland researcher, Dr Gerhard Sundborn, and with help from singer, Che Fu, did a trial study in the Kelston area, raising awareness of the health effects of sugary drinks among students.

The symposium on February 19 and 20 will be addressed by two prominent United States academics, keynote speakers Professor Richard Johnson and Professor Robert Lustig who have specialised in the impact of sugar sweetened beverages (SSB) on health.

Other leading academics in obesity research who will also contribute to this symposium include Professor Boyd Swinburn (University of Auckland, Deakin University, WHO), and Dr Mike Rayner (Oxford University, Director British Heart Foundation Health Promotion Research).

There will be strong representation from the Pacific region featuring contributions from Dr Colin Tukuitonga (Director-general, Secretariat of the Pacific Community) and Dr Viliami Tangi (HOD Surgery, Vaiola Hospital - Tonga).

A discussion panel will include Professor Robert Beaglehole, Professor Jim Mann, Green Party spokesman on Health, Kevin Hague, Herenie Marshall, Paul Fitzgerald, and Helen Latu.
Day one covers the science on sugar, SSBs and poor health. Day two examines public health solutions. The symposium will also seek feedback on a draft SSB policy brief, prepared by the New Zealand Beverage Panel.


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