Sweet talking for World Diabetes Day

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Brussels, 21 November 2014: “Low calorie sweeteners can help in weight and diabetes management, when consumed as part of a balanced diet”, said co-chair Dr Aimilia Papakonstantinou during the International Sweeteners Association (ISA) live Twitter chat held last Friday on the occasion of World Diabetes Day.

Co-hosted by notable experts in the fields of dietetics and diabetes, Dr Aimilia Papakonstantinou, dietician and lecturer in Nutrition and Metabolism at the Agricultural University of Athens, and Dr Duane Mellor, Assistant Professor in Dietetics at the University of Nottingham, this Twitter Hour brought together over 40 participants to discuss the importance of healthy eating and lifestyle choices, with a focus on diabetes.

Health experts and organisations, academics, journalists, together with our hosts, debated the role low calorie sweeteners can play in managing diabetes and weight when used as part of a healthy balanced diet. In answer to the question on whether low calorie sweeteners are a useful tool in making dietary changes, Cordelia Woodward, a UK Registered Dietician, confirmed that they are and that they help reduce blood sugar response as well as calorie intake. Dr Duane Mellor added that “low calorie sweeteners are part of the toolbox” that people have at their disposal from a diabetes prevention and management perspective.

With an estimated reach of up to 44.000 followers, this thought-provoking chat gave the floor to a variety of experts and stakeholders to discuss this important issue in the context of World Diabetes Day and the benefits of low calorie sweeteners in addressing this growing health epidemic. The Twitter chat was part of an integrated communications programme to mark this important day and included the launch of ISA exclusive Lo Cal Heroes animation as well as the publication of a collection of healthy and tasty recipes provided by experts in dietetics and diabetes from across Europe.

You can access all the ISA support activities on this occasion by clicking here.

Note to the editor

For access to the science, please find below a non-exhaustive list of studies on the topic:

  • Low-calorie sweeteners and body weight and composition: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials and prospective cohort studies, Miller and Perez, Am J Clin Nutr. 2014 Sep;100(3):765-77. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.113.082826. Epub 2014 Jun 18.
  • Sweet-taste receptors, low energy sweeteners, glucose absorption and insulin release, Renwick et al., Br J Nutr. 2010 Nov;104(10):1415-20. doi: 10.1017/S0007114510002540. Epub 2010 Jul 12.
  • Artificial sweeteners: a place in the field of functional foods? Focus on obesity and related metabolic disorders, Raben et al., Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2012 Nov;15(6):597-604. doi: 10.1097/MCO.0b013e328359678a