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Obesity - Sugar and Sweeteners - Weight Loss Information
Role of Sugar in the Etiology of Obesity
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Is Sugar Consumption a Cause of Severe Overweight?

Obesity, Sugar and Non-Nutritive Sweeteners

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Does Sugar Cause Obesity

Excess body fat (obesity) arises from the energy imbalance caused by taking in too much energy and using too little. It has been thought that sugar plays a major role in the etiology of obesity. There are several arguments against this hypothesis.

Sugars suppress appetite to the same extent as other carbohydrates.

There is no relationship between the per capita amount of sugar available in the food supply and the incidence of obesity in the population.

Epidemiologic studies show an inverse relationship between sugar intake and obesity, but a direct relationship between obesity and fat intake, and the ratio of fat to sugar in the diet.

Obesity & Sugar - Summary

Obesity is a complex problem and its cause cannot be simply attributed to any one component of the food supply.

Obesity & Non-Nutritive Sweeteners

The contribution of non-nutritive sweeteners (zero calorie sweeteners) to obesity management is unclear. The original motivation for their development was based on the goal of providing a sweet taste without added energy to persons with diabetes and those wanting to control energy intake. Non-nutritive sweeteners can save the consumer up to 16 calories per tespoon of sweetening.

Theoretically, if total intake of sugars (estimated at 95 g or approximately 24 tsp/day) were replaced by nonnutritive sweeteners, this could result in a deficit of 380 kcal/day or a 1 lb weight loss in 9 to 10 days.

Non-Nutritive Sweeteners - Weight Loss Study

One study has shown that the addition of aspartame-sweetened foods and beverages to a multi-disciplinary weight-control program facilitated long-term maintenance of reduction in body weight in obese women.

Obesity Levels Up Despite Rise in Non-Nutritive Sweetener Consumption

However, obesity prevalence has increased substantially at the same time as the consumption of non-nutritive sweeteners has increased. The rise in prevalence clearly relates to all factors that cause an energy imbalance.

Therefore, persons who wish to lose weight may choose to use nonnutritive sweeteners but should do so within the context of a sensible weight management program including a sensible diet and enjoyable exercise.

Sources include: American Dietetic Association (www.eatright.org)

 

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