Replacing sugar with low-calorie sweeteners is a common strategy for facilitating weight control. By providing sweet taste without calories, intense sweeteners help lower energy density of beverages and some foods. Reduced dietary energy density should result in lower energy intakes – but are the energy reduction goals, in fact, achieved? The uncoupling of sweetness and energy, afforded by intense sweeteners, has been the focus of numerous studies over the past two decades. There are recurring arguments that intense sweeteners increase appetite for sweet foods, promote overeating, and may even lead to weight gain. Does reducing energy density of sweet beverages and foods have a measurable impact on appetite and energy intakes, as examined both in short-term studies and over a longer period? Can reductions in dietary energy density achieved with intense sweeteners really affect body weight control? This paper reviews evidence from laboratory, clinical and epidemiological studies in the context of current research on energy density, satiety and the control of food intake.
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Scientific Reports Open Access 16 November 2016
Does low-energy sweetener consumption affect energy intake and body weight? A systematic review, including meta-analyses, of the evidence from human and animal studies
International Journal of Obesity Open Access 14 September 2015
European Journal of Nutrition Open Access 09 September 2015
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Bellisle, F., Drewnowski, A. Intense sweeteners, energy intake and the control of body weight. Eur J Clin Nutr 61, 691–700 (2007). https://doi.org/10.1038/sj.ejcn.1602649
- intense sweeteners
- energy density
- weight control
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