Alison Burton Shepherd

Alison Burton Shepherd

King’s College London

Title: Sugar and fat how bad is that?


Alison Burton Shepherd is a queen's nurse and tutor in nursing at Florence Nightingale School of nursing and Midwifery kings college London. She has over 80 publications which have been peer reviewed. She is also a registered nutritionist and is on the Editorial Board of the Journal for Food and Nutritional Disorders (USA) and is a regular contributor to Network Health Dieticians. She still works in a clinical capacity as a nurse advisor for a private out of Hours Company where she works autonomously from home.


The levels of obesity are increasing worldwide which suggests that current interventions are failing to control this epidemic. There is growing pressure on the Food Industry within the UK to reduce the amount of saturated fats (SFA) in a variety of products in an attempt to reduce the incidence of both Coronary Heart Disease and Obesity. In some areas of Europe this has already been achieved. However fat adds both satiety and a pleasant taste experience. Therefore the food industry will need to replace the saturated fats with other nutrients, normally refined carbohydrates to enhance the consumers “taste” experience. Recent evidence suggests that the reduction of SFA in commercially produced foods may only have a marginal impact on CVD and that refined carbohydrates, including sugars may increase the risks of developing CHD. Moreover, it is also argued that reducing the amount of SFA in some food product will not have any significant impact on the levels of obesity. This symposium will critically debate the issue of the role of Sugar and Fat and their associated risks of developing CHD and obesity and will also discuss why, as clinicians it may be best practice to concentrate on “treating the individual and not the disease”.

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