- 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.
SOURCE: THE HINDU, THE ECONOMIC TIMES, PIB