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Cross-sectional survey of the amount of free sugars and calories in carbonated sugar-sweetened beverages on sale in the UK
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  • Published on:
    ISA comment in response to BMJ Open publication
    • Vicky Pyrogianni, Dietitian – MSc in Human Nutrition International Sweeteners Association (ISA)

    Having reviewed this publication by Hashem et al, the International Sweeteners Association (ISA) would like to highlight that a range of low calorie sweeteners, either used alone or in combination, are already successfully used to reduce or totally replace sugars in beverage products and provide a variety of reduced or zero calorie options.

    Importantly, a number of randomised control trials (RCTs), as well as systematic reviews and meta-analyses, have consistently shown that low calorie sweetened drinks lead to reduced energy intake and can help in weight loss and maintenance, when used in place of sugar-sweetened beverages. On the basis of the above strong body of evidence, the ISA strongly refutes the claims that they could be associated with increasing risk of the same chronic diseases linked to the consumption of sugars. On the contrary, the available scientific data confirm the exact opposite, that low calorie sweeteners use facilitates, rather than impairs, weight loss, in both children and adults, as they provide sweetness with low or no calories.

    At a time when obesity (a major risk factor for non-communicable diseases) is increasing, low calorie sweeteners such as acesulfame-K, aspartame, cyclamate, saccharin, steviol glycosides and sucralose are useful tools in food and drink reformulation strategy to reduce free sugars content in certain products.

    References (non-exhaustive list):
    1. Rogers PJ, et al. Int J Obes 2016; 40(3): 381-94...

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    Conflict of Interest:
    Director of Science Outreach and Communications at the International Sweeteners Association (ISA)