• The World Health Organization has recommended against using artificial sweeteners
  • WHO in a recent report has recommended against using artificial sweeteners to achieve weight loss and prevent lifestyle diseases such as diabetes.
  • The report emphasized that while there was a need to cut intake of sugar, it should not be replaced by artificial sweeteners.
  • Many diabetics use the sweeteners in their tea and coffee. However, there is a growing market for packaged foods and beverages using these sweeteners to offer low-calorie options.
  • WHO suggests that non-sugar sweeteners (NSS) not be used as a means of achieving weight control or reducing the risk of non-communicable diseases.

What WHO has recommended?

  • Replacing free sugars with non-sugar sweeteners does not help with weight control in the long term.
  • Artificial sweeteners provide the sweet taste with very little to no calories.
  • Since artificial sweeteners reduce the number of calories consumed, there could be some weight loss and reduction in body mass index (BMI) in the shorter term.
  • Analysis have shown that higher intake of NSS was linked to increase in the risk of Type-2 diabetes.
  • The higher intake of these sweeteners was also linked to increase in the risk of cardiovascular disease, including risk of hypertension and mortality in the long run.
  • It was also linked with a 25% increase in the risk for pre-term birth.
  • The WHO has made these recommendations for everyone other than those who are already diabetic. 


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