Published in the International Journal of Obesity this week, the review by Prof Peter Rogers et al. entitled ‘Does low-energy sweetener consumption affect energy intake and body weight? A systematic review, including meta-analyses, of the evidence from human and animal studies’ looked at the effect of low calorie sweeteners’ exposure on calorie intake and body weight.
As highlighted by the authors in the review, the results indicate that “LES [low energy sweeteners] do not increase EI [energy intake] or BW [body weight], whether compared with caloric or non-caloric (for example, water) control conditions.” The balance of evidence shows that actually the use of low calorie sweetened beverages, in children and adults, “leads to reduced EI and BW, and possibly also when compared with water.”
In the press release issued by University of Bristol on the occasion of the paper’s publication, Prof Peter Rogers said: “We believe that we should shift the question from whether LES are ‘good’ or ‘bad,’ and rather focus on how they should be best used in practice to help in the achievement of specific public health goals, such as the reduction of intakes of free sugars and energy.”
The conclusions of this review support those of a broad body of scientific evidence which clearly demonstrates that low calorie sweetener consumption is not associated with increased calorie intake and body weight. On the contrary, the results highlight the role low calorie sweetened foods and drinks can play in tackling overweight and its consequences.
By providing the pleasure of sweet taste without the added calories, low calorie sweetened options make a useful contribution to a healthy, balanced diet.
To read the review by Rogers et al., please visit the editor's website by clicking here.
Watch extract from interview with Prof Peter Rogers on the results of his review: