New Study Suggests Sugar Substitutes Prompt Health Problems

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You may want to think twice before you drink a diet soda.

According to a new study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ), nonnutritive sweeteners - like aspartame, sucralose and stevioside, or those used in diet soda - are actually linked to problems with health and weight.

While there’s evidence that routine sugar consumption is fuelling the obesity epidemic, that evidence has subsequently stimulated the popularity of nonnutritive sweeteners.

The CMAJ study examines the effects of their routine consumption, and the results aren’t so bright.

Researchers studied seven control trials where 1,003 participants were followed for an average of six months, and 30 cohort studies where 405,907 participants were observed for an average of 10 years.

Nine studies showed that the participants who consumed the most nonnutritive sweeteners had a 14 per cent higher risk of Type 2 diabetes than those who consumed the least.

Five studies showed that those who consumed the most nonnutritive sweeteners had a 31 per cent higher risk of having metabolic syndrome, which includes high blood pressure and cholesterol levels, than those who consumed the least.

The CMAJ study elaborated that nonnutritive sweeteners are associated with weight gain, increases in waist circumference, higher incidence of obesity, hypertension, syndrome, Type 2 diabetes and stroke and cardiovascular events.

So, while you might think that your zero-cal, zero-sugar diet soda is healthier for you than a regular soda, you might want to think again.

The study does not clearly support the intended benefits of nonnutritive sweeteners for weight management, and further suggests that consuming these sugars regularly may also be associated with increased BMI and cardiometabolic risk.

Perhaps Mississaugans should stick to water!

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