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Why caution may be warranted when consuming artificial sweeteners

18 July 2017, 12:47 | Lucy Hill

Artificial Sweeteners In Diet Fizzy Drinks May Be Making You Gain Weight

Artificial sweeteners may set the stage for diabetes in some people by hampering the way their bodies handle sugar according to results of a study released Wednesday by the journal Nature

Artificial sweeteners did not appear to help people lose weight.

If we consider the research, outside of the 1 in 10,000 of us who suffer from the rare condition Phenylketonuria (who can not process the breakdown of Aspartame, ) use of diet drinks and sweetener-based products should not be considered a risk to our health, and we should be able able to enjoy them as part of our daily diets.

It's been an ongoing debate.

As recently as April 2017, where it was suggested that artificial sweeteners increased risk of development of dementia, there is also cancer, diabetes and weight gain which have all been said to be linked to Aspartame (one of the most popular dietary sweeteners, ) resulting in much scepticism about the safety of its use. When people consume zero calorie sweeteners they feel like they have earned the ability to "cheat" somewhere else in their diet because they managed to avoid calories elsewhere.

"Low-calorie sweeteners are a tool to help provide sweet taste without calories, to address one aspect of calorie intake", council president Robert Rankin said in a statement. This is how they discovered the link between artificial sweeteners and an increase in waist circumference and weight.

To better understand whether consuming artificial sweeteners is associated with negative long-term effects on weight and heart disease, researchers from the University of Manitoba's George & Fay Yee Centre for Healthcare Innovation conducted a review of 37 studies that followed over 400 000 people for an average of 10 years.

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INTERPRETATION Evidence from RCTs does not clearly support the intended benefits of nonnutritive sweeteners for weight management, and observational data suggest that routine intake of nonnutritive sweeteners may be associated with increased BMI and cardiometabolic risk. "Low- and no-calorie sweeteners are among some of the most exhaustively researched ingredients in the world and have been approved as safe for consumption by government regulatory agencies worldwide, including the FDA [Food and Drug Administration]", says William M. Dermody, the ABA's vice president of policy.

"And there was some evidence of long-term harm from long-term consumption", Azad said. The sweeteners are widespread in food and drinks including diet soda, yogurt, sauces and dressings and baked goods.

The trail showed no reliable effects of artificial sweeteners on the loss of weight. BMI is a measurement of body fat, based on height and weight.

"I don't think in dietetics practice we ever figure that switching to sugar substitutes is going to give you a significant weight loss alone", said Wright, a spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Miller said when she tried to quit as an adult, she hated real sugar.

Not so, says a new study published Monday in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

ABC News' chief women's health correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton explained that any sweetener can trigger the same response from the brain, which could contribute to the long-term issues found in this study.

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