Low-calorie sweeteners are in the news practically on a daily basis, but despite the overwhelming evidence that they are safe and effective weight management tools, often reports are not positive and do not put low-calorie sweetener use into perspective. However, several recent studies have reaffirmed the benefits of low-calorie sweeteners for weight management – as well as for people with diabetes – that should be taken into consideration when evaluating the science.
The “Weight” of Evidence on Low-Calorie Sweeteners and Weight
A recent meta-analysis published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition analyzed 15 randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and nine prospective cohort studies on low-calorie sweeteners and weight management, spanning 35 years. This represents the most comprehensive scientific evaluation of low-calorie sweeteners and body weight and composition studies to date. The authors found that substituting low-calorie sweetened beverages for their regular-calorie counterparts contributes to weight loss (Miller and Perez, 2014).
In light of recent suggestions by some that low-calorie sweeteners may be linked to increased appetite and/or weight gain, a recent review published in Annual Review of Food Science and Technology looked at the idea and found that several intervention studies in both children and adults show that, when consumed in place of regular sweeteners, low-calorie sweeteners do not increase calorie intake, and in fact, can help reduce both calorie intake and body weight. (Fernstrom, 2014)
|Source: Center for Public Health and Nutrition at the University of Washington|
Scientific Experts Weigh In on Low-Calorie Sweeteners and Weight, Microbiome, and more