Award-winning sugar reduction research

Dr Charlotte Hardman receiving the award.

Dr Charlotte Hardman (centre) receiving the award.

The Institute of Psychology, Health and Society’s Appetite and Obesity group have received an award for Best Research in Sugar Reduction at the Sugar Reduction Awards.

Dr Charlotte Hardman accepted the award on behalf of the group at the Sugar Reduction Summit at the Royal Society in London earlier this month.

The work of the Appetite and Obesity group encompasses a broad spectrum of research, addressing behavioural and psychological processes that govern appetite and the application of this knowledge to interventions to reduce obesity and improve public health.

This award was in recognition of the group’s original research on ‘diet’ beverages containing low-calorie sweeteners and their potential utility in the context of weight management. This is an important research area as diet beverages are widely consumed within the general population but the impact of low-calorie sweeteners on appetite control and eating behaviour is not well-understood.

Dr Hardman commented: “I am delighted that the work of the Appetite and Obesity group has been recognised by the award for Best Research in Sugar Reduction. Achieving and maintaining weight loss is very difficult and diets can often fail because people feel deprived of pleasurable foods. Our research suggests that low-calorie sweetened beverages may provide a way for people to continue to consume enjoyable sweet-tasting drinks whilst also maintaining their dieting goals”.

The Liverpool research was particularly commended by the judges for providing an important public health message for individuals who are trying to lose weight and maintain weight loss over time. In the current obesity epidemic, there is a need to understand why people struggle to control their food intake and weight, and the research was highlighted as adding real value and insight in this area.

The inaugural Sugar Reduction Awards took place alongside The Sugar Reduction Summit and were launched to recognise and celebrate the progress that has been made in sugar reduction across public health, education, academia, manufacturing and supply chains, and were supported by Layn, Sugarwise and Bayn Europe.

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