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WHO Advises Against Sugar Substitutes for Weight Loss

Who Advises Not Using Sugar Substitutes
World Health Organization (WHO) advises in the new and updated guidelines that people should not be using sugar substitutes for weight loss. Credit: Raysonho / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

The World Health Organization (WHO) recently issued a new guideline on non-sugar sweeteners (NSS). They claimed that using them isn’t a good way to control your weight.

The WHO made this recommendation after reviewing a large body of evidence and discovering that using NSS does not help people lose weight or reduce body fat in the long run, whether they are adults or children.

The World Health Organization also discovered that using NSS for an extended period of time may increase the risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and even death.

The Director for Nutrition and Food Safety at the WHO, Francesco Branca, said that instead of using NSS to lower their sugar intake, people should try eating foods with natural sugars, like fruit, or foods and drinks that don’t have any added sugar.

Branca also said that NSS doesn’t give people any nutrition, so they’re not really important to have in your diet. In fact, Branca thinks people should try to cut back on sweet foods altogether from a young age to stay healthy.

World Health Organization’s recommendations are ‘conditional’

These recommendations from the World Health Organization apply to everyone except those who already have diabetes. This includes all kinds of NSS, whether they are made in a lab or come from natural sources. Some common NSS are products like acesulfame K, aspartame, and sucralose.

This recommendation doesn’t apply to products like toothpaste or medicine that have NSS in them or to low-calorie sugars and sugar alcohols.

The WHO made this recommendation after studying the evidence about NSS and how they affect people’s health. They are unsure whether there is a direct link between using NSS and becoming ill, but they believe it is better for people to avoid using NSS.

This recommendation is “conditional,” which means that it might not apply to everyone in every situation. Different countries might need to think about this recommendation in their own way, depending on how much NSS people in that country usually use.

Pregnancy and use of NSS

Some studies have shown that using more NSS during pregnancy might increase the chances of  premature birth, although the evidence for this is not very strong, according to the new guidelines by World Health Organization.

Other studies have looked at things like the baby’s weight at birth and how they do later in life, but the results have been mixed and not very certain.

Some studies have also found a link between using NSS during pregnancy and certain health issues in the baby, such as asthma or allergies, as well as poor performance in school later in life. However, the evidence for these connections is weak.

Using NSS during pregnancy, on the other hand, does not appear to increase the risk of developing gestational diabetes.

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