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Artificial sweetener warning from WHO

The International Sweeteners Association (ISA) has taken umbrage at the WHO’s warning this week about non-sugar sweeteners (NSS) being used to control weight or limit non-communicable sickness, with the agency saying a systematic review of 320 studies had suggested no long term benefits from these in reducing body fat in adults or children.

The WHO review also determined that sustained use of these sweeteners could contribute to type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and serious illness in adults, reports MedicalXpress.

WHO director for Nutrition and Food Safety Francesco Branca had said that “replacing free sugars with NSS does not help with weight control in the long term”.

“NSS are not essential dietary factors and have no nutritional value,” she added. Rather, she said, people should stopping eating sweets altogether, starting at an early age.

Aspartame, advantame, cyclamates, neotame, saccharin, sucralose and stevia are among the additives addressed in WHO’s review.

Most of those substitutes are associated with brand names like Sweet N Low, Equal and Splenda, all of which have been approved by the US Food & Drug Administration.

Sugar alcohols containing calories, such as polyols, aren’t considered NSS.

However, the ISA said approved low and no-calorie sweeteners “have a role to play in the fight against obesity” when used to replace sugar, and “are an essential tool in helping food and drink companies reformulate products, to reduce sugar and calories”. It suggested taking the WHO’s “conditional finding” with a grain of salt.


MedicalXpress article – WHO: Artificial sweeteners have no weight-loss benefit, may raise health risks (Open access)


See more from MedicalBrief archives:


Artificial sweeteners’ link to higher risk of heart disease – French study


Artificial sweeteners and increased cancer risk – French cohort study


Artificial sweeteners found to be toxic to gut microbes


Artificial sweeteners may leave a bitter aftertaste


Stroke, heart attack risk linked to sweetener – US study







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