Consumption of sugar substitutes assists in long-term weight control

August 24, 2009

A new study published in the International Journal of Obesity reports that consumption of sugar-free beverages sweetened with low-calorie sweeteners increases dietary restraint, a key aspect of successful weight maintenance.

Researchers analyzed calorie, protein, carbohydrate, fat and beverage intake, as well as the dietary restraint of over 300 individuals. The researchers concluded, "Our findings…suggest that the use of artificially sweetened beverages may be an important weight control strategy among WLM [ maintainers]."

The researchers also stated, "The current study suggests that WLM use more dietary strategies to accomplish their WLM, including greater restriction of fat intake, use of fat and sugar modified foods, reduced consumption of caloric beverages and increased consumption of artificially sweetened beverages."

This study builds upon the findings from a 2002 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition which found consumers of sugar substitutes had significantly greater weight loss compared with participants who did not consume sugar substitutes.

According to Dr. Adam Drewnowski, director, Center for Public Health Nutrition at the University of Washington, "Low-calorie sweeteners and reduced-calorie products are not magic bullets, which means using these products will not result in automatic weight loss. Instead, people looking to lose or maintain weight, can use low-calorie sweeteners in addition to other tools (such as portion control, exercise, etc.) to help manage their calories."

Dr. Drewnowski co-authored a recent research review of low-calorie sweeteners, published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, which found that low-calorie sweeteners and the products that contain them can help people reduce their calorie intake and were associated with modest weight loss.

More than 194 million Americans are consuming low and reduced calorie foods and beverages, according to the Calorie Control Council's most recent national consumer survey. The Council, a non-profit trade association, has noted that this number will likely continue to rise as more consumers begin to understand that "calories count" for weight loss and weight maintenance.

More information: Phelan, S et al. Use of artificial sweeteners and fat-modified foods in weight loss maintainers and always-normal weight individuals. advance online publication 28 July 2009; doi: 10.1038/ijo.2009.147

Source: Kellen Communications

Explore further: Calorie density key to losing weight

Related Stories

Calorie density key to losing weight

June 8, 2007

Eating smart, not eating less, may be the key to losing weight. A year-long clinical trial by Penn State researchers shows that diets focusing on foods that are low in calorie density can promote healthy weight loss while ...

Researcher finds reason for weight gain

April 22, 2009

Liwei Chen, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Epidemiology at the LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans School of Public Health, is the lead author of a research paper showing that weight gain and obesity are more linked to ...

Recommended for you

How the finch changes its tune

August 3, 2015

Like top musicians, songbirds train from a young age to weed out errors and trim variability from their songs, ultimately becoming consistent and reliable performers. But as with human musicians, even the best are not machines. ...

Machine Translates Thoughts into Speech in Real Time

December 21, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- By implanting an electrode into the brain of a person with locked-in syndrome, scientists have demonstrated how to wirelessly transmit neural signals to a speech synthesizer. The "thought-to-speech" process ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.