Sweeteners & Obesity

The contribution of nonnutritive sweeteners to obesity management is unclear.

The original motivation for their development was based on the goal of providing a sweet taste without added energy to persons with diabetes and those wanting to control energy intake. Nonnutritive sweeteners can save the consumer up to 16 kcal/tsp sweetening.

Theoretically, if total intake of sugars (estimated at 95g or approximately 24 tsp/day) were replaced by nonnutritive sweeteners, this could result in a deficit of 380 kcal/day or a 1 lb weight loss in 9 to 10 days.

One study has shown that the addition of aspartame- sweetened foods and beverages to a multidisciplinary weight-control program facilitated long-term maintenance of reduction in body weight in obese women.

However, obesity prevalence has increased substantially at the same time as the consumption of nonnutritive sweeteners has increased. The rise in prevalence clearly relates to all factors that cause an energy imbalance.

Therefore, persons who wish to lose weight may choose to use nonnutritive sweeteners but should do so within the context of a sensible weight management program including a sensible diet and enjoyable exercise.


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