AFDN Congress

Date: 26th to 28th May 2016, Lille, France

Always staying close to the scientific community, the International Sweeteners Association (ISA) is delighted to have participated in the 54th Journées d’Etudes de l’AFDN (First French professional organisation of dieticians), which was held in Lille, France, from 26th to 28th May.

On Thursday, May 26, from 11:00am to 12:00pm ISA hosted a roundtable on the very interesting topics of the role of low calorie sweeteners in weight management and diabetes.

Led by renowned experts in the fields of nutrition, obesity and metabolic disease, Dr Jean-Michel Lecerf (Head office of the nutrition department of «Institut Pasteur de Lille») and Corinne Peirano (Dietician-Nutritionist, Sports Nutrition & Health), the discussion focused on how low calorie sweeteners can be useful in weight management, looking at their effect on appetite and sweet taste preference, as well as on the role of low calorie sweeteners in the diet of people with diabetes.

Please download our symposium flyer and read more about the programme by clicking here. You may also find out more about the presentations and the speakers here below.

To read the ISA press release about this event, please click here. We also invite you to read our interview with Dr Lecerf about the role and benefits of low calorie sweeteners in weight management as well as about obesity and the factors affecting it, weight management tools, etc, by clicking here.

Abstract of presentation by Dr Jean-Michel Lecerf

Low calorie sweeteners provide sweet taste without calories. Sweetness is part of the pleasure humans seek from their diet, which is natural and necessary. The role of excess intake of carbohydrates, particularly of “added” or “free” sugars in foods and drinks, in weight gain has been well established, and it is a recognised factor linked to the obesity epidemic, because it leads to a positive energy balance. A decrease in energy intake is necessary to manage overweight or obesity. Adhesion to dietary recommendations is a key factor for the inversion of weight increase and the long-term weight maintenance. Nutrition education is an indispensable tool for change in dietary habits. Frustration and the loss of dietary pleasure may impair weight loss. Sensation of guilt felt when one does not strictly stick to their diet may also maintain low self-esteem. Many studies have shown that people who choose low-calorie foods and drinks have better food choices and a healthier diet. Moreover, many studies have shown that people who include low-calorie foods and drinks sweetened with low calorie sweeteners in their diet, have a greater weight loss, than those who do not. Thus, the use of low calorie sweeteners is a useful mean in weight management in obese or overweight subjects. Their use, however, has to be part of an overall change in diet and lifestyle, including increased physical activity.

Therefore, low calorie sweeteners sweeteners have a place in the treatment of obesity provided that their use is followed by a comprehensive and sustainable lifestyle change and by nutrition education.

Dr Jean-Michel Lecerf

Head office of the nutrition department of «Institut Pasteur de Lille»

Medical doctor. Specialist in endocrinology and metabolic diseases.
Physician at the University Hospital of Lille. Associated professor. Head of the Nutrition Department at Institut Pasteur de Lille.
Author of 250 papers with peer review and 450 articles in the fied of nutrition, obesity, diabetes, dyslipidemia and endocrinology. Author of 15 books and 50 chapters of books.
400 oral communications.
Member of many Scientific Advisory Boards. Expert for ANSES, HAS and AFNOR.

Abstract of presentation by Corinne Peirano

Saccharine, cyclamate, aspartame, steviol glycosides, acesulfame-K, sucralose... these are among the most known and widely used low calorie sweeteners. They can help people meet some nutritional goals related partly to public health. Low calorie sweeteners have a much higher sweetening potency than sugar, and the benefit of providing low or no calories, without affecting blood glucose levels. This latest benefit can help people with diabetes to include low calorie sweeteners in their diet, without fearing that these will have an impact on glycemic control. In practice, they are used as tabletop sweeteners or as substitutes for sugar by the food industry, in order to provide the desired sweet taste in foods. Low calorie sweeteners, classified as additives, have been a subject of controversy in media, including in the scientific domain. However, health authorities around the world have confirmed that they are safe for consumption, based on strict toxicological assessments, and, therefore, European and national regulations confirm that they can be added in foods and drinks and used as tabletop sweeteners.

Corinne Peirano

Dietician-Nutritionist, Sports Nutrition & Health

Freelance Dietician-Nutritionist in Paris
Member of the AFDN (French Association of Dieticians-Nutritionists)
Specialised in overweight and obesity, eating behaviour disorder, expert in sports nutrition
Lecturer at D.U. Nutrition and APS, University Paris Descartes UFR STAPS Faculty of Medicine of Paris
HAS (French National Authority for Health) expert in overweight and obesity
Member of the SIFMED (French Society of Medicine and Sports-Health -related subjects)