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Sugar reduction: can low-calorie sweeteners help?

18 October 2016

Public Health England have recommended that consumption of free sugars should be reduced to 5% of dietary energy. This is thought to be a very difficult target to meet, although wider use of low-calorie sweeteners could help.

Peter Rogers spoke about the evidence on low-calorie sweeteners in relation to appetite and weight control at The Sugar Reduction Summit on 22nd September. This multidisciplinary conference held at the Royal Society, London, examined the likely impact of measures to reduce sugar intake. Wider use of low-calorie sweeteners can be expected to contribute towards sugar reduction, but concerns remain about possible unintended effects – including the suggestion that their use might disrupt appetite control and thereby lead to increased overall calorie intake. Peter Rogers summarised results from a recent systematic review of intervention studies (see News 10th November 2015) which demonstrated beneficial rather than adverse effects of low-calorie sweeteners for weight management. He also briefly summarised evidence from new Nutrition and Behaviour Group studies that consumption of low-calorie sweeteners can satisfy desire for sweetness in the short-term – so for example, having a (no sugar) sweet drink with our meal can somewhat reduce our desire for a sweet dessert.
Please see here for a link to transcripts of Sugar Reduction Summit talks 
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