Sunday, June 4, 2023

The World Health Organization advises against the use of sweeteners to control weight

The World Health Organization (WHO) has published a new guide with recommendations on non-sugar sweeteners, in which it advises against their use to control body weight or reduce the risk of non-communicable diseases.

The warning is based on the results of a systematic review of the available evidence, which suggests that the use of non-sugar sweeteners provides no long-term benefit in reducing body fat in adults or children.

Furthermore, the report also argues that the use of these sweeteners may have potentially long-term unwanted effects, such as an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and adult mortality.

“Replacing free sugars with sweets does not seem to help control weight in the long term. People should consider other ways to reduce their intake of free sugars, such as eating foods with natural sugars, such as fruit, or unsweetened foods and beverages,” says Francesco Branca, WHO’s nutrition and food expert. Safety director, says in a statement. Dissemination. Guide’s note.

The recommendation includes all synthetic and natural or modified non-nutritive sweeteners that are not classified as sugars.

“Sugar-free sweeteners are not an essential dietary component and lack nutritional value. People should completely reduce sweeteners in their diet from an early age to improve their health,” says the expert.

The advice is addressed to all people, except those with pre-existing diabetes, and includes all synthetic and natural or modified non-nutritive sweeteners that are not classified as sugar and that are found in manufactured foods and beverages. or sold plain to consumers. them for food and drink.

The most common non-nutritive sweeteners are acesulfame-K, aspartame, avantame, cyclamates, neotame, saccharin, sucralose, stevia and their derivatives.

The most common non-nutritive sweeteners are aspartame, cyclamates, saccharin, sucralose, or stevia.

However, this warning does not apply to hygiene and personal care products that contain non-sugar sweeteners, such as toothpaste, skin creams and medicines. It also does not apply to low-calorie sugars and sugar alcohols (polyols), which are sugars or sugar derivatives that contain calories and are therefore not considered unsweetened sweeteners.

Conditional evaluation

Because the link seen in the evidence between non-sugar sweeteners and disease outcomes may be due to baseline characteristics of study participants and confounding patterns of sweetener use, the recommendation is conditional, following WHO procedures for this type of development. . Advice.

This means that policy decisions based on this recommendation may require deeper discussions in specific country contexts, for example, on consumption levels in different age groups.

The WHO guidance on non-sugar sweeteners is one part of existing and future guidelines on healthy diets, which aim to establish lifelong healthy eating habits, improve diet quality and reduce the risk of non-communicable diseases.

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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