Artificial Sweeteners May Not Help Weight Loss, Says New Report
Artificial sweeteners are zero calories, so they can help you lose weight, right? Despite some reports (and debunking) about artificial sweeteners causing chronic diseases like cancer, zero-calorie sweeteners — like aspartame, sucralose, stevia, and others — have been deemed harmless and even beneficial for those looking to cut real sugar and lose weight. However, a new report from the World Health Organization (WHO) has advised consumers against using non-sugar sweeteners for weight control, citing research that suggests that these artificial sweeteners may not be effective in helping individuals lose weight.
According to the WHO, there is insufficient evidence to support the use of non-sugar sweeteners as a means of controlling weight. While these sweeteners may provide an alternative to sugar, they do not necessarily lead to weight loss, and may even have negative health effects.
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“The evidence shows that consuming non-sugar sweeteners does not lead to significant weight loss and may have negative health effects,” the report states.
The report also found that the long-term effects of consuming artificial sweeteners are not well understood. The data used for the report came from 50 randomized controlled trials, 97 prospective cohort studies, and 47 case-control studies, and a lot of it was missed. However, the prospective cohort studies did find artificial sweeteners to be associated with higher body mass index and increased risk of Type 2 diabetes. With so much uncertainty about how artificial sweeteners affect the body, the WHO concluded that these sweeteners may have unintended consequences on the body’s health and metabolism.
This news comes as a surprise to many consumers who have long relied on non-sugar sweeteners as a means of controlling their calorie intake. Many individuals believe that these sweeteners are a healthier alternative to sugar, and are therefore a better option for weight loss.
However, the WHO report suggests that this may not be the case. Instead, the report recommends that individuals focus on a balanced and healthy diet, rather than relying on non-sugar sweeteners as a means of weight control.
This is not the first time that concerns have been raised about the use of non-sugar sweeteners. A recent study found that a popular sweetener had a worrying impact on generations of mice, raising questions about the long-term effects of these sweeteners on human health.
The WHO report has been met with mixed reactions from health experts and consumers. While some have praised the report for bringing attention to the potential risks of non-sugar sweeteners, others have criticized the report for its lack of definitive evidence.
Regardless of the response to the report, it is clear that the use of non-sugar sweeteners for weight control is a controversial topic. As more research is conducted on the long-term effects of these sweeteners, it remains to be seen whether they will continue to be a popular alternative to sugar.
Read next: How To Eliminate Sugar Cravings for Good, Says Science
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