A recent study led by Dr. Allison Sylvetsky Meni, assistant professor of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences at the George Washington University (Milken Institute SPH), found that there was a 200 percent increase in consumption of low-calorie sweeteners for children and 54 percent increase for adults from 1999 to 2012. Using data from a cross-sectional study by National Health and Nutrition Evaluation Survey (NHANES), researchers saw a link between obesity and LCS consumption. As BMI increased, so did the likelihood of consuming LCS.
[Photo: Dr. Allison Sylvetsky Meni]
In an email interview, Dr. Sylvetsky states that there are better alternatives to “light” and “no sugar added” products and that “exposure to LCS, which are intensely sweet, may promote a preference for sweetness and may lead to craving and seeking more highly sweet foods and beverages, which are also high in calories.”
The study shows that 70 percent of LCS intake occurs at home. Parents may be buying the light versions of the family favorite products thinking they are healthier, Dr. Sylvetsky says.
Read more about the study, “Consumption of Low-Calorie Sweeteners Jumps by 200 Percent in U.S. Children.”