A new toolbox for sugar reduction

Sugar comprises a major part of our diet and the way we socialise. It is a good source of quick energy and a mood booster. However, eating too much sugar has been linked to multiple health problems such as tooth decay, type 2 diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease.

Research has emerged suggesting that sugar may be addictive like alcohol, tobacco and caffeine. Consumption of sugar appears to activate the reward system in the brain and change the way it responds to sugar. Over time, these changes may cause cravings and the experience of withdrawal-like symptoms when attempting to reduce consumption.

Unlike alcohol and tobacco, sugar is unregulated which requires individuals to self-regulate. Further, our association with sugar as comforting and pleasurable and its widespread availability makes reduction very challenging.

Our research asks how do people actually reduce their sugar intake? The results were pretty surprising. We found that reduction is quite personal, and that people develop their own specific plans for reduction. It looks like a one-size fits all approach does not reflect the everyday lived experience.

The good news is we have collected and documented all of the ways people reduce their sugar. We have developed a terrific tool that we are piloting in the Auckland region.


This study is currently closed

If you live in Auckland and are ready to reduce your sugar consumption then perhaps this is the right program for you. We are recruiting again in September 2019.


Time frame

This is a 30 day program. You can apply your learnings beyond the program and into the future.


The goal

You select from two levels of reduction.


Take the quiz

See if you are eligible for the study by taking the online quiz. 

Get free tools

We will provide you with the latest resources and tools to support your goals.

Approved by the University of Auckland Human Participants Ethics Committee on 19 March 2019 for three years. Reference Number 022363.

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