By Alice Park. Eat less sugar. The obesity epidemic now encompasses two-thirds of the American population, including a third of children, so any opportunity parents have to cut calories seems like a good idea. And one of the first targets has to be sugar. Especially now that there are so many low-calorie options made using with artificial sweeteners: sugar free gum, sugar free drinks, sugar free ice cream. Kids can have their cake and eat it and then have a diet soda afterwards. The body reacts to artificial sweeteners differently than it does to sugar — the healthy bacteria that live in the gut, for example, change when these compounds are around — and the consequences might be both surprising and unwelcome, especially for children. The reason is that nobody lives on diet soda alone. To understand how artificial sweeteners are affecting weight, you have to consider everything else that a child eats — which most likely contains a lot of sugar as well as sugar substitutes. For one, kids who eat a lot of sugar often consume it as part of a pattern of overeating in general. Simply cutting down on one source of sugar may not be enough to affect their weight in a significant way.
So for a pound person, milligrams of saccharin a day would be in the safe range. Funny, I have not gained weight, so drinking Diet Coke was useless. He started me off at 75mcg. Section 1: Energy Balance and Weight Management. We swim, speed walk and use certain weights. But for people who need to limit carbohydrates, whether because of diabetes or dieting, artificial sweeteners can add sweet flexibility to an otherwise limited meal plan. In a teeny human study conducted by the same researchers, seven volunteers who didn’t normally drink artificially sweetened foods consumed 10 to 12 packets of artificial sweetener every day for a week.
By offering the taste of sweetness without any calories, artificial sweeteners seem like they could be one answer to effective weight loss. The average ounce can of sugar-sweetened soda delivers about calories, almost all of them from sugar. The same amount of diet soda—zero calories. The choice seems like a no-brainer. The American Heart Association AHA and American Diabetes Association ADA have given a cautious nod to the use of artificial sweeteners in place of sugar to combat obesity, metabolic syndrome, and diabetes, all risk factors for heart disease. While they are not magic bullets, smart use of non-nutritive sweeteners could help you reduce added sugars in your diet, therefore lowering the number of calories you eat. Reducing calories could help you attain and maintain a healthy body weight, and thereby lower your risk of heart disease and diabetes. To learn more about them, I spoke with Dr. He has a keen interest in products designed to help people lose weight at keep it off. And what he has learned about artificial sweeteners worries him.