Pacific Project

Dr Ofa Dewes
University of Auckland
Differences in fructose uptake in Pacific adolescents
36 months

Lay summary

Excessive sugar consumption is a major factor contributing to the development of metabolic diseases. Strategies to reduce the impact of sugar on our society have not been successful uniformly so new approaches are needed because, if left unchecked, will continue to impose a significant burden on the health system especially in the context of a youthful Pacific population. Current approaches do not take into account the biological differences between individuals in the way they respond to sugar. Inter-individual differences in fructose uptake from the gut will identify those most at-risk of the deleterious effects of sugar. Targeting high fructose absorbers will provide a more efficient way of preventing progression to metabolic diseases. We will measure fructose uptake in high school students to identify high fructose absorbers and understand how this links to obesity and its consequences so that targeted intervention strategies may focus on the highest fructose absorbers.

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