Artificial Sweeteners Cause Weight Gain, Heart Disease and More

Henrietta Strickland
July 19, 2017

And the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has said artificial sweeteners can be used to manage weight or blood sugar by limiting energy intake. The lengthier observational studies displayed a connection between the consumption of artificial sweeteners and the fairly high risks of weight gain, heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity and a number of other health issues.

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These additives are found in everything from yogurt and baked goods to sauces and diet colas, per the CBC, with "a lot of people. consuming them in foods and not realizing it", says University of Manitoba researcher Meghan Azad.

The long-term effects of artificial sweetener consumption on weight gain and heart disease were the focus.

To determine whether or not artificial sweeteners are associated with the negative long-term effects previous studies have cited, researchers from the University of Manitoba's George and Fay Yee Centre for Healthcare Innovation examined more than 11,000 studies on both artificial and natural sweeteners, performed a meta-analysis of 37 studies and then divided them into randomized controlled trials (seven) and longitudinal studies (30).

The Washington Post today reports that studies linked artificial sweeteners to increased belly fat despite their zero calories. Data from RCTs showed no consistent effects of nonnutritive sweeteners on other measures of body composition and reported no further secondary outcomes.

Ryan Zarychanski, a professor from the Canadian institution, said: "Despite the fact that millions of individuals routinely consume artificial sweeteners, relatively few patients have been included in clinical trials of these products".

"Nothing in this study shows otherwise, and the study itself provides conflicting evidence, which raises questions about the validity of the researchers' conclusions". In the included cohort studies, consumption of nonnutritive sweeteners was associated with a modest increase in BMI (mean correlation 0.05, 95% CI 0.03 to 0.06; I 0%; 21 256 participants).

The researchers find this data to be quite troubling as the intended objective of using these products is to assist in weight management, but their findings did not support this notion.

The team also found that artificial sweetener consumption by pregnant women may influence weight gain, metabolism and gut bacteria in their infants.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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