Helpful in Weight Control
Many people use low-calorie sweeteners and the products that
them to help control calories and manage their weight. However,
a recent "short communication" from Purdue University, which
received widespread media attention, may have unnecessarily
alarmed consumers regarding the use of low-calorie sweeteners.
Based on a study of approximately 10 rats per group, the
researchers concluded that low-calorie sweeteners may "fool
the tongue" and may not be useful in weight control. However,
leading obesity researcher Dr. John Foreyt, director of the
Nutrition Research Clinic and professor, Department of Medicine
at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, noted that other stud-
ies have found that these products can be useful. "Low-calorie
sweeteners and the products that contain them are useful tools
for those trying to control or lose weight. Weight control is main-
ly a matter of caloric balance, which this study does not evalu-
ate," said Dr. Foreyt.
Research conducted by other leading scientists confirm Dr.
Foreyt's comments. For example, a study published in the
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that using low-calo-
rie sugar-free foods and beverages aided in the prevention of
weight gain. Another study conducted by Dr. George Blackburn of
Harvard Medical School and also published in the American
Journal of Clinical Nutrition investigated whether the addition of
aspartame to a multidisciplinary weight control program would
improve weight loss and long-term control of body weight in obese
women. The researchers found that participation in this multidis-
ciplinary weight control program including the use of aspartame-
sweetened foods and beverages not only facilitated weight loss, but
also long-term maintenance of a reduced body weight.
ADA Confirms Usefulness and Benefits of Low-Calorie Sweeteners
In February 2004, the American Dietetic Association (ADA)
published an extensive updated review paper confirming that
"nonnutritive" or low-calorie sweeteners and the products that
contain them are not only safe, but can also be beneficial in
weight control. The following are excerpts from the ADA's
updated position paper on sweeteners:
· "Nonnutritive sweeteners added to the diet have been shown
to promote modest loss of weight and, within a multidiscipli-
nary weight-control program, may facilitate long-term main-
tenance of reduction in body weight."
· "Additionally, most of the research associating sweet and inges-
tive behaviors has involved nutritive sweeteners; according to a
previous review, nonnutritive sweeteners
do not have a paradoxical effect to increase
appetite and food intake. Thus, the rise in preva-
lence [of obesity] clearly relates to all factors that
cause an energy imbalance. Individuals who
wish to lose weight may choose to use nonnutri-
tive sweeteners but should do so within the con-
text of a sensible weight management program
including a balanced diet and exercise."
Low-calorie sweeteners not only provide con-
sumers with many safe products that are benefi-
cial in weight control, but low-calorie sweeteners
and the products that contain them are becom-
ing more popular as indicated by recent surveys
(see page 3). And consumers want more of
these products, not only to aid them in control-
ling weight, but also to help them obtain better
Blackburn, G. L., et. al. The Effect of Aspartame as Part of a
Multidisciplinary Weight-Control Program on Short- and Long-
term Control of Body Weight. American Journal of Clinical
Nutrition. 1997. Vol. 65. 409-418.
Davidson, TL and Swither, SE. A Pavlovian Approach to the
Problem of Obesity. International Journal of Obesity. Short
Communication. April, 2004, Vol. 28. 933-935.
Position of the American Dietetic Association: Use of Nutritive
and Nonnutritive Sweeteners; Journal of the American Dietetic
Association. February, 2004. Vol. 104.
Raben, A., et. al. Sucrose Compared with Artificial Sweeteners:
Different Effects on Ad Libitum Food Intake and Body Weight
After 10 Weeks of Supplementation in Overweight Subjects.
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. October 2002. Vol. 76.
No. 4. 721-729.
are useful tools
for those trying
to control or
is mainly a
--Dr. John Foreyt,
Baylor College of