Splenda® Brand Sweetener and Weight Management
September 13, 2013
Quite a bit of misinformation has been circulating about low-calorie sweeteners, including questions about their use in weight management. However, the overall data shows that low-calorie sweeteners can be useful in strategies for weight management.
We encourage people to make informed choices about using Splenda® Brand Sweetener by reviewing the credible research available on sucralose (the no-calorie sweetening ingredient in all Splenda® Sweetener Products) and on low-calorie sweeteners in general.
The breadth of scientific research does not support the theory that low-calorie sweeteners cause people to gain weight or increase their appetite. In fact, studies of persons using low-calorie sweeteners show that low-calorie sweeteners can be useful in weight management strategies.
Additionally, rigorous large lifetime studies of rats that received amounts of sucralose comparable in sweetness to over 40 pounds of sugar per day showed that sucralose does not cause increases in body weight. Overall, there is a significant range of data that supports sucralose and other low-calorie sweeteners as positive tools in sensible weight management strategies.
Professional organizations including the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics support these conclusions, and the American Diabetes Association (ADA) offers this advice: “As part of a weight loss or weight management plan, artificial sweeteners can provide low-calorie options for desserts and other treats instead of cutting them out completely.”
The theory that low-calorie sweeteners can contribute to weight gain by tricking the body to crave more calories is not supported by overall research. In fact, low-calorie sweeteners have been shown to be useful in weight loss programs.
While newer studies have sent some confusing messages, it is important to know that not all new studies, or the headlines that sometimes accompany them, are designed to actually assess cause and effect. For example, many of the recent articles on low-calorie sweeteners are from observational studies. These are studies that can show certain associations, but cannot test for cause and effect. In contrast, studies designed to test cause and effect show no evidence that low-calorie sweeteners cause weight gain. This is not at all surprising, since intake of these sweeteners provides little or no nutrients that can be stored as energy for weight gain.
Consumers should always take a practical, balanced approach toward weight management. Splenda® No Calorie Sweetener is not the single answer to a healthier lifestyle, nor is it a cure for obesity. But it can be an easy way to help reduce the daily intake of calories and carbohydrate from added sugars – without sacrificing taste. It’s one of many small changes people can make in their daily routines that can add up to meaningful changes in their weight management efforts over time.
For more information about the research on low-calorie sweeteners, visit these links:
- American Diabetes Association
- Blackburn et al. The effect of aspartame as part of a multidisciplinary weight-control program on short- and long-term control of body weight. Am J Clin Nutr. 1997 Feb;65(2):409-18.
- Rodearmel SJ, Wyatt HR, Stroebele N, et al. Small changes in dietary sugar and physical activity as an approach to preventing excessive weight gain: the America on the Move® family study. Pediatrics. 2007;120(4):869-879.
This study was funded by McNeil Nutritionals, LLC, and National Institutes of Health grant DK42549.
- Mattes RD, Popkin, BM. Nonnutritive sweetener consumption in humans: effects on appetite and food intake and their putative mechanisms. Am J Clin Nutr January 2009 vol. 89 no. 1 1-14.
- de Ruyter JC, Olthof MR, Seidell JC, Katan MB. A trial of sugar-free or sugar-sweetened beverages and body weight in children. N Engl J Med. 2012;11;367(15):1397-406.
- Anne Raben, et al. Increased postprandial glycaemia, insulinemia, and lipidemia after 10 weeks’ sucrose-rich diet compared to an artificially sweetened diet: a randomised controlled trial. Food Nutr Res. 2011;55:2-13.
- Piernas C, et al. Does diet-beverage intake affect dietary consumption patterns? Results of the Choose Healthy Options Consciously Everyday (CHOICE) randomized clinical trial. Am J Clin Nutr. E-pub 2013;1:1-8–63.
- A. de la Hunty, et al. A review of the effectiveness of aspartame in helping with weight control. British Nutrition Foundation Nutrition Bulletin, 2006;31:115–128.
- Raben A, Richelsen B. Artificial sweeteners: a place in the field of functional foods? Focus on obesity and related metabolic disorders. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2012;15:597–604.
- Anderson GH, et al. The use of low-calorie sweeteners by adults: impact on weight management. J Nutr. 2012;142(6):1163S-9S.