World Health Organization Warns Against Using Artificial Sweeteners

The World Health Organization on Monday warned against the use of artificial sweeteners for weight management and reducing the risk of non-communicable diseases, saying long-term use may be ineffective and pose health risks.

These sugar substitutes do not reduce body fat in adults or children when taken over the long term. WHO said in its recommendations:added that continued consumption may increase the risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and adult mortality.

“This recommendation applies to everyone except those with pre-existing diabetes and is not classified as sugar in manufactured foods or beverages or sold alone for addition to foods or beverages. , including all synthetic and naturally occurring or modified non-nutritive sweeteners “by the consumer,” WHO said.

The WHO said the recommendations are based on a review of available evidence and are part of a series of guidelines on healthy eating currently being developed.

Examples of sweeteners include aspartame, saccharin, sucralose, and stevia. The WHO statement contradicts previous research that says these sweeteners offer no health benefits and do no harm.

Stephanie McBurnett, R.D.N. and nutrition educator for the Board of Physicians of Responsibility, said nutrition research is constantly evolving and stronger data are updating findings. Examining the effects of saturated fats and other parts of people’s diets may provide more insight into the overall reasons behind the health problems attributed to sugar.

“It comes as no surprise to me that the World Health Organization has found no real difference in the health benefits of regular and diet sodas,” says Barnett, a registered dietitian and nutritionist. . “Both are processed foods,” she added.

WHO recommendations do not directly influence individual country policies. For example, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration may take this guidance into account and raise its own concerns or adjust labeling, McBurnett said. However, there is no obligation to do so.

FDA did not respond to a request for comment.

The WHO’s recommendations are now considered conditional, the group said.

“This suggests that policy decisions based on this recommendation may require substantive discussion in specific national contexts, such as the extent of consumption among different age groups.” said the statement.

The WHO said the recommendations do not extend to personal care and hygiene products containing artificial sugars, such as toothpaste, skin creams and medicines. It also does not contain low-calorie sugars or sugar alcohols derived from sugar itself.

“People should take other measures to reduce their intake of free sugars, such as consuming foods with naturally occurring sugars, such as fruits, and unsweetened foods and beverages,” said Francesco Branca, WHO Director for Nutrition and Food Safety. We need to look at ways,” he said. He said non-sugar sweeteners “are not essential dietary elements and have no nutritional value. People should completely reduce sweeteners in their diets early in life to improve their health.”

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