Milken Institute School of Public Health Poster Presentations (Marvin Center & Video)

Title

Low Calorie Sweeteners and Weight Management in Children and Adolescents

Poster Number

81

Document Type

Poster

Status

Undergraduate Student

Abstract Category

Exercise and Nutrition Sciences

Keywords

Low-calorie sweeteners, adolescents, children, weight management, body mass index

Publication Date

Spring 2018

Abstract

Background: Excessive sugar intake contributes to weight gain and obesity, as well as a variety of other adverse health consequences. Sugar is found in many foods and beverages, and is most often consumed in the form of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB). SSB include many types of drinks such as sodas, sports drinks, flavored juice drinks, coffee drinks, and energy drinks. Given the well-established link between excess sugar intake and weight gain, consumption of diet beverages sweetened with low-calorie sweeteners (LCS) instead of sugar has been increasing among children and adolescents. This raises the question as whether the LCS are effective for weight management, which has remained a topic of considerable controversy over the past several decades. The purpose of this review is to summarize the existing evidence in order to determine whether the consumption of LCS has beneficial, harmful, or neutral effects on weight among children and adolescents. Methods: The PubMed database was used to search for previously conducted studies investigating LCS consumption in relation to body weight among children and adolescents. Keywords used to search the database included artificial sweeteners, nonnutritive sweeteners, diet beverages, children, adolescents, and weight management. A total of nineteen sources were included, comprising both observational and interventional studies. Results: The majority of observational studies reported that LCS consumption was associated with increased body weight, BMI, and adiposity. In contrast, the majority of interventional studies found that LCS were helpful for weight management. Discussion: Our results demonstrate that whether LCS is helpful or harmful for weight management among children and adolescents differs depending on the type of study performed. As observational studies suggested potentially detrimental effects while interventional trials demonstrated benefits of LCS use, it is likely the LCS effects on weight may vary based on how and by whom they are used. Due to these discrepant, further research should be conducted with careful consideration of the study design and individuals enrolled.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Open Access

1

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 

Low Calorie Sweeteners and Weight Management in Children and Adolescents

Background: Excessive sugar intake contributes to weight gain and obesity, as well as a variety of other adverse health consequences. Sugar is found in many foods and beverages, and is most often consumed in the form of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB). SSB include many types of drinks such as sodas, sports drinks, flavored juice drinks, coffee drinks, and energy drinks. Given the well-established link between excess sugar intake and weight gain, consumption of diet beverages sweetened with low-calorie sweeteners (LCS) instead of sugar has been increasing among children and adolescents. This raises the question as whether the LCS are effective for weight management, which has remained a topic of considerable controversy over the past several decades. The purpose of this review is to summarize the existing evidence in order to determine whether the consumption of LCS has beneficial, harmful, or neutral effects on weight among children and adolescents. Methods: The PubMed database was used to search for previously conducted studies investigating LCS consumption in relation to body weight among children and adolescents. Keywords used to search the database included artificial sweeteners, nonnutritive sweeteners, diet beverages, children, adolescents, and weight management. A total of nineteen sources were included, comprising both observational and interventional studies. Results: The majority of observational studies reported that LCS consumption was associated with increased body weight, BMI, and adiposity. In contrast, the majority of interventional studies found that LCS were helpful for weight management. Discussion: Our results demonstrate that whether LCS is helpful or harmful for weight management among children and adolescents differs depending on the type of study performed. As observational studies suggested potentially detrimental effects while interventional trials demonstrated benefits of LCS use, it is likely the LCS effects on weight may vary based on how and by whom they are used. Due to these discrepant, further research should be conducted with careful consideration of the study design and individuals enrolled.