Two medical groups say data inconclusive on artificial sweeteners for weight loss

The CNN “The Chart” blog reports, “A joint scientific statement from the American Heart Association and the American Diabetes Association reveals that while non-nutritive sweeteners can be useful for limiting carbohydrates and limiting added sugars in the diet, the existing scientific evidence is inconclusive about whether this strategy works well in the long run for cutting calories, reducing dietary sugar and losing weight.”

The products “in the analysis include both artificial sweeteners and stevia, which is marketed as a natural sweetener.”

HealthDay reports that Christopher Gardner, lead author of the new scientific statement, said, “There may be a benefit to people who use” sugar substitutes “smartly and who don’t compensate later in the day and negate the benefit.”

MedPage Today reports, however, that the “extensive literature search found sketchy, limited, and often contradictory evidence, researchers concluded in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association and Diabetes Care.”

WebMD points out that “the experts looked only at whether the alternative sweeteners could help with weight control and blood sugar control. They did not consider whether these products themselves might carry health risks.”

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