This week, the World Health Organization (WHO) published an article on its website advising against the use of non-sugar sweeteners—such as saccharin or stevia—to control body weight.
This is because its experts systematically reviewed the available scientific evidence. In that analysis, they found that its use provided no long-term benefit in reducing body fat in neither adults nor children.
Likewise, they maintained that its sustainable and continuous consumption over time can increase the risk of adults suffering from diagnoses such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease and mortality, if effective measures are not taken in terms of diet and nutrition. Let’s go Habits.
What does WHO recommend and whom does it exclude?
Francesco Branca, WHO’s director of nutrition and food safety, said: “People should consider other ways to reduce their intake of free sugars, such as foods with natural sugars, such as fruit, or unsweetened foods and Eating drinks.”
Along these lines, he stressed that “non-sugar sweeteners are not essential dietary factors and have no nutritional value”, so “to improve health, completely reduce the sweet taste of the diet from an early age.” should give.”
Despite the fact that the organization’s recommendations apply to most cases, experts stressed that people with pre-existing diabetes are excluded.
Similarly, the WHO stressed that “includes all synthetic and natural or modified non-nutritive sweeteners that are not classified as sugars and that are found in manufactured foods and beverages, or that are consumed by consumers”. Sold alone for mixing into foods and beverages. ,
Among the most common of this type are acesulfame K, avantame, aspartame, cyclamates, neotame, sucralose, saccharin and stevia (as well as its derivatives).
For which products the recommendation does not apply
Representatives of the organization specify in their article that the recommendation not to use these sweeteners “does not apply to hygiene and personal care products” that may contain them.
Some examples are some toothpastes, skin creams and medicines.
In addition, it also does not include “low-calorie sugars and sugar alcohols (polyols), which are sugars or sugar derivatives that contain calories and, therefore, are not considered unsweetened sweeteners.”
Thus, they ruled that the purpose of this guideline is to “establish healthy eating habits for life, improve diet quality, and reduce the risk of non-communicable diseases worldwide.”
It is to be noted that it is always advisable to visit an expert to assess which food options are best suited in your particular case.