The latest, very thorough review of the science on low calorie sweeteners and body weight concludes that substituting low calorie sweetened options, and particularly aspartame-sweetened beverages, for their full calorie equivalents results in weight loss and is helpful in successful weight management.
This analysis of 24 studies included trials with men, with women and with children, and with people with a healthy weight, as well as with overweight people. The authors to concluded that the results “indicate that substituting LCS (low calorie sweeteners) for sugar modestly reduces bodyweight, BMI, fat mass and waist circumference.”
Most of the studies used low calorie sweetened beverages in place of their sugar sweetened counterparts. The majority of the products used in the studies were sweetened with aspartame alone or with aspartame in combination with other sweeteners. In discussing their findings the authors commented, “By maintaining the palatability of foods and beverages with fewer calories than sugar, LCS could help improve adherence to weight loss or weight maintenance plans”.
Aspartame is the low calorie sweetener that tastes most like sugar. This and other similar studies show that, by delivering the great taste that people enjoy without the calories, aspartame can play an important role in maintaining a healthy weight and in avoiding the consequences of overweight and obesity.
- Low calorie sweeteners and body weight and composition: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials and prospective cohort studies
Paige E Miller and Vanessa Perez
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (AJCN) Published on-line June 2014.