The fructose research of UNL’s Tim Carr is featured in the 3 p.m. Jan. 8 BBC Radio 4 documentary “Fructose: The Bittersweet Sugar.”
Fructose has been much maligned by media reports and some research in recent years. Some have blamed the simple sugar for the obesity epidemic that has plagued the United States. Research by Carr, chair of UNL’s Department of Nutrition and Health Sciences, tells a different story.
In the BBC documentary, Carr discusses how the consumption of fructose in America has not changed in the last 40 years and, therefore, is not a unique casual factor in the spread of obesity.
Carr recorded the interview at NET in December with BBC Radio 4 host Dr. Mark Porter, a British physician who is also chair of the British Medical Association council. The 30-minute documentary, “Fructose: The Bittersweet Sugar,” examines claims that fructose is a “toxic additive” and is responsible for the obesity epidemic.
According to Carr’s research, an increase in the availability of foods providing glucose (another sugar) and fat is the significant contributor to increased obesity in the U.S., not fructose. Glucose availability increased 13 percent from 1970-2009, primarily from starch in grains. The research conducted by Carr and Trevor Carden, a UNL graduate, was supported by the University of Nebraska Agricultural Research Division with funds provided through the Hatch Act. The findings were published in the December 2013 issue of Nutrition Journal, available at http://go.unl.edu/bt40.
The documentary featuring Carr can be heard at BBC Radio 4’s website at http://go.unl.edu/8hmd.