Prof Peter Rogers
School of Experimental Psychology, University of Bristol, UK
Professor Peter Rogers trained in biological sciences and experimental psychology at the University of Sussex UK (1972-1976). He completed his PhD and postdoctoral work at the University of Leeds UK, moving to the Institute of Food Research, Reading UK in 1990. In his present position at the University of Bristol UK (1999-) Peter teaches biological psychology and does research on nutrition and behaviour, including work on human appetite and weight control, food choice, dietary effects on mood and cognitive function, and the psychopharmacology of caffeine. He is a Chartered Psychologist, a Fellow of the British Psychological Society, and a Registered Nutritionist.
Effects of low-energy sweeteners consumption on appetite and weight control
The extent to which low-energy sweeteners (LES) consumption might benefit weight management depends on their effects on appetite control. By reducing dietary energy density, LES consumed in place of sugars ought to reduce total energy intake provided that the ‘saving’ in energy consumed is not fully compensated for by increased energy intake elsewhere in the diet. Short-term ‘preload test-meal’ studies in humans confirm less than full compensation for sugar consumed in foods and beverages. It is possible, however, that other effects of LES consumption might outweigh this saving. It has been suggested that LES consumption may increase energy intake, for example, by increasing desire for sweet food consumption, and by confusing the relationship between sweetness and food energy content. Overall, though, the evidence favours a net benefit of LES consumption. Two sets of findings, in particular, are important. First, randomised controlled trials (RCTs) show consistently a relative reduction in body weight for consumption of LES- versus sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs). Outcomes were similar for trials in which the products (LES beverages or SSBs) were added to the diet and trials in which LES beverages replaced equivalent SSBs in frequent consumers of SSBs. Second, in preload test-meal studies LES do not acutely increase energy intake compared with water, and in RCTs LES beverages reduce body weight compared with water. The various results summarised above are based on a recent systematic review and meta-analyses (Rogers, Hogenkamp, de Graaf, Higgs, Lluch, Ness, Penfold, Perry, Putz, Yeomans & Mela, International Journal of Obesity, in press), from which we concluded that ‘We found a considerable weight of evidence in favour of consumption of LES in place of sugar as helpful in reducing relative energy intake and bodyweight, with no evidence from the many acute and sustained intervention studies in humans that LES increase energy intake.’
- Unedited manuscript of the review by Prof Rogers on 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, published in International Journal of Obesity – accessible by clicking here.