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Can Low-Calorie Sweeteners like SPLENDA® Brand Sweetener Help You Lose Weight? Facts vs. Fiction

March 1, 2017
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A new year is well under way and many of us are now trying to lose weight and form healthy weight loss diet plans. That being the case, it probably is time to revisit a few facts about the positive role SPLENDA® Sweeteners can have as part of a healthy weight management program. Here are key facts and some fictional statements that have been made on this very topic (we will discuss here some of the nonsense that floats around the Internet without substantiation).

Claim: Consuming low-calorie sweeteners (LCS), like SPLENDA® Sweeteners can cause you to gain weight.

Fiction! A major analysis (called a “meta-analysis”) of more than 20 research studies was published in 2014 in a high profile scientific journal (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition). This meta-analysis found that the observational studies conducted, showed no association between LCS intake and body weight. Data from the randomized control trials, which provide the highest quality of evidence for examining the potential effects of LCS intake, indicate that replacing full-calorie options with LCS, results in a modest weight loss, and may be a useful dietary tool to improve compliance with a weight loss diet plan or weight maintenance plan.

Claim: Low calorie sweeteners can help you lose weight as part of an overall healthy weight loss diet plan.

Fact! A 2012 joint publication from the American Diabetes Association and American Heart Association concluded: “Reducing the intake of added sugars is an important intervention to achieve a healthy weight and nutrient-dense dietary pattern. The use of non-nutritive sweeteners [NNSs] may result in small decreases in calorie intake and weight loss when used within a structured eating plan and without caloric compensation.” And the American Heart Association more recently stated: “Replacing sugary foods and drinks with sugar-free options containing NNSs is one way to limit calories and achieve or maintain a healthy weight.”

Claim: Low calorie sweeteners just make you crave more sugar.

Fiction! A study by Gibson et al., recently published in Nutrients, has confirmed previous research findings that the consumption of beverages sweetened with low-calorie sweeteners is associated with healthier diets and overall lower calorie consumption. Also, a 2015 study published in the scientific journal Current Obesity Reports did not find that the use of low-calorie sweeteners increased one’s appetite. In fact, the researchers drew three main conclusions: 1) no consistent relationship exists to demonstrate a heightened appetite for sweet foods, 2) some research shows use of non-nutritive sweeteners (NNS) is associated with consumption of fewer sweets, and 3) intervention studies in children and adults show use of NNS can reduce intake of caloric sweeteners and support weight loss efforts.

Claim: Scientific research studies confirm that non-nutritive sweeteners can be a useful part of a healthy diet plan for weight loss and maintenance.

Fact! After reviewing the available research, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics states: “It is the position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics that consumers can safely enjoy a range of nutritive and nonnutritive sweeteners when consumed within an eating plan that is guided by current federal nutrition recommendations, such as the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the Dietary Reference Intakes, as well as individual health goals and personal preference.”

To further support this fact, sucralose (the sweetening ingredient in SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener) was shown to help with weight management by decreasing caloric intake when subjects used it in place of sugar and, when used in conjunction with regular physical activity. A 2007 study published in Pediatrics demonstrated that by making two simple changes daily—using SPLENDA® Brand Sweetener as part of a program to reduce calorie intake and increasing activity levels—families can help overweight children slow their rate of weight gain.

Hopefully this information will serve as useful weight control information as you and your family strive to adapt healthier lifestyles this year and beyond.

I have been compensated for my time by Heartland Food Products Group, the maker of SPLENDA® Sweetener Products. All statements and opinions are my own. I have pledged to Blog with Integrity, asserting that the trust of my readers and the blogging community is vitally important to me.


Sue Taylor is a consulting nutritionist with more than 35 years of experience. She is passionate about sharing her nutrition knowledge and fondness for good, healthy food. Sue will put relevant information in consumer terms and provide valuable perspective to clear up misinformation and confusion about nutrition and food safety.

March 1, 2017  |  POSTED BY: Sue Taylor, MS  |  IN: Debunk the Junk Science, Sugar Substitutes

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