Stephen Pugh was head of the food labelling team in the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) for 25 years. He represented the UK’s during the negotiations on the EU’s Regulation on the Provision of Food Information to Consumers (FIC). He has worked in the field of food labelling for the UK government since 2008. Stephen is also the Course Coordinator in the European Commission’s training initiative on food information which is part of the Better Training, Safer Food initiative.
Dr Giles Yeo is the Director of Genomics & Transcriptomics at Cambridge University. Giles’ research and studies focuses on the genetics of severe human obesity and brain control of food intake and bodyweight. Giles offers us valuable insights and knowledge on the topics of obesity and low sugar diets. He was the first to report that mutations in the melanocortin-4 receptor (MC4R) and in the neurotrophic receptor TRKB resulted in severe human obesity. Giles also presents science documentaries for the BBC. His critically acclaimed investigative piece ‘Clean eating – The dirty truth’, prompted an important national debate about dieting advice and evidence based science.
Rend has a First Class Honours Degree in Social Anthropology from Durham. After this at Cambridge, she served as President of the University Scientific Society and on its Advisory Board. Rend also worked as an expert on conflict resolution and negotiation. She has been on the boards of various organisations, including a 501(c)3 US non-profit. As a student Rend set up her first company in her college room and grew it to a quarter of a million turnover; she’s run global marketing campaigns and been a diplomat at the United Nations. Rend has been calling for a positive strategy improve the demand for, availability and visibility of healthier choices. She hopes by constructive dialogue and collaboration great strides will be made in making it easier for people to make the choices they want for themselves and their families.
Nichola is a Registered Dietitian who works with Sugarwise to provide advice on our policies and public statements, as well as to produce delicious recipes with Sugarwise certified products. Nichola loves working with brands she believed in and is a well regarded dietician in the UK with numerous appearances on BBC Breakfast and itv, where she has been filming a National 8 part series, anticipated to increase her popularity yet further.
Keith Vaz is the Chair of the United Kingdom All Parliamentary Group for Diabetes and a British Labour Party politician. Keith has been a Member of the Parliament for Leicester East since the 1987 General Election, when he was the youngest Labour Member of Parliament. Keith was Britain’s Minister for Europe under Tony Blair and he served as Chairman of the influential Home Affairs Select Committee between 2007 – 2016. He is the British Parliament’s longest-serving Asian MP. Sugarwise is a cause close to Keith’s heart as he was diagnosed with Type-2 diabetes in 2007. Keith’s passion is to improve education about diabetes and to improve the availability and visibility of lower sugar alternatives, starting with the Tea Room in the House of Commons.
Vinicius Ferreira is a Cambridge University scientist with experience in biochemistry/biophysics research that unraveled molecular mechanisms behind the body’s response to hypoxic conditions and Alzheimer’s disease. He has a Master’s in Science in Chemistry from University of Pennsylvania. He is tasked with analyzing nutritional information and laboratory test results of products we certify to be Sugarwise. He ensures every product certified Sugarwise adheres to our strict standards regarding free sugar content. Furthermore, Vinicius liaises with our partners concerning other scientific matters as needed.
By profession, Rasik is an accountant, and came to Cambridge over 30 years ago to work for Philips. In 1998, Rasik started his own company, SecureSafe. Rasik has long been involved in voluntary and community ventures. He was on the Indian Community and Culture Association committee in Cambridge for over 20 years. Rasik has a keen interest in diabetes and obesity and recognises these as pressing problems for the Indian community. He joined Sugarwise as a trustee to offer advice and knowledge to us regarding our financial position, and how best to continue our pledge to increase the availability of low sugar products
Luke has a Double First in Classics from Cambridge and a Merit in Intellectual History from the University of Sussex. After working in Japan as a research student, Luke was drawn to working for Sugarwise while practising a strict ketogenic diet. Interested in and enthused by policy issues around sugar consumption, Luke handles public affairs for Sugarwise.
Alexa Segal graduated in Public Health and Global Studies from Temple University, afterwhich she pursued an MPhil in Epidemiology at the University of Cambridge. Alexa is passionate about deducing health policies aimed at decreasing childhood obesity incidence and developing governmental healthcare infrastructure more coherent to reduce healthcare costs. She has undertaken research in palliative care and childhood obesity prevention. For Sugarwise, Alexa prepares responses on public health policy implications related to sugar and sweeteners, presenting this information at conferences and talks on behalf of Sugarwise.
Sophia holds degrees in Physiology, Law & Business and has worked as a marketer/innovator within global Food & Drink companies (Mars, Coca-Cola, Unilever, Kraft/Mondelez). 10 years ago, Sophia felt a fundamental shift in consumer attitudes & behaviour towards food & drink and noticed also a worrying upswing in the incidence of diabetes and obesity. She tried to change things “from the inside” but the status quo was not quite ready for disruption. Sophia then took time out to qualify as a lawyer before returning as a global food and drink innovation consultant and impact entrepreneur. Sophia also co-launched an award-winning innovative healthy drinks brand, “Tg green tea” with a mission to “change what we drink, for the better”.
In 1989, Valerie joined hi-tech company Acorn, then BT. She then headed PSINet UK Limited, which grew from 1.25m to 42m in turn over. Valerie helped build Pipex, the UK’s first commercial Internet Service Provider. Before joining the tech sector Valerie managed corporate and financial teams at Burson-Marsteller Public Relations in London, advising UK and European corporations on acquisitions and US. In her final year with PSINet, turnover exceeded £42 million, employed over 260 staff, and had less than 3% overdue accounts.
Jim Painter earned a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois and is currently an Adjunct Professor at University of Texas, School of Public Health. Jim has been a Registered Dietitian since 1980 and has served as the Director of Nutrition research for the California Raisin Marketing Board, and nutrition adviser for Sun-Maid Raisin Growers of California and Paramount Farms Wonderful Pistachios. He consults for the National Dairy Council. He currently serves on American Heart Association’s Healthier Diet Business Committee and is a member of the Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior.