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GDN Reader's View: Beware sweeteners

Letters
Sue


This article might be interesting to readers. It refers to aspartame which is a common sugar substitute used as a sweetener in many prepared foods and beverages, particularly diet soda.

It is a popular choice for those trying to lose weight, as it lowers the number of calories in food.

However, new research suggests the sweetener may be ineffective for weight loss, and it may even have the opposite effect.

Some research indicates that even acceptable daily intakes of aspartame, as regulated by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), might make you hungrier and lead to weight gain.

Other studies in rodents have shown that compared with sugar, sweeteners like saccharin and aspartame cause weight gain instead of weight loss.

Reasons why this may happen are not entirely clear, but a team of researchers from the Massachusetts General Hospital decided to investigate why aspartame does not promote weight loss.

Their research – published in the journal Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism – suggests one of aspartame’s metabolites may play a role.

The researchers were led by Dr Richard Hodin, from the Massachusetts General Hospital Department of Surgery.

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