Washington, Feb 9: A new study has revealed that low-calorie or no-calorie sweeteners in foods and beverages can help in controlling weight gain in people.
In the review led by Bellisle and Adam Drewnowski, the researchers assessed various laboratory, clinical and epidemiological studies on low-calorie sweeteners, energy density and satiety.
"Low-calorie sweeteners reduce the energy of most beverages to zero and lower the energy density of many foods," said Dr Drewnowski.
"Every dietary guideline these days tells us to bulk up, hydrate, and consume foods with fewer calories but more volume," he added.
Previous studies on humans have revealed that low-calorie sweeteners and the products that contain them can be useful tools in weight control.
A study conducted by Dr. George Blackburn examined whether the addition of aspartame, a low calorie sweetener, to a multidisciplinary weight control program would improve weight loss and long-term control of body weight in obese women.
The team studied one hundred sixty-eight obese women between 20 to 60 years over a period of two years. They found that use of aspartame-sweetened foods and beverages facilitated weight loss and long-term maintenance of a reduced body weight.
Another study investigating the benefit of sucralose or sucralose sweetened beverages found that using sweetener as well as increasing activity helped sustain and lower body mass index for children.
"Rising obesity rates have now been linked to the presence of sugars in the food supply and to the absence of sugars from the food supply," said Drewnowski.
"Consumers find it difficult to know who to believe. In the final analysis, all health experts agree that weight loss is best achieved by a combination of reducing caloric intake, lowering energy density of the diet, and increasing physical activity.
The review appears in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.