Friend or foe: What is the evidence on zero-calorie sweeteners & obesity?

While substituting calorific sugars for a zero calorie sweetener may seem like a common sense public health policy, some recent reports have suggested that the reverse may be true.

A report by the French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupatiional Health & Safety (ANSES) concluded that recommending intense sweeteners as a way to reduce sugar intakes cannot be justified as a public health strategy.

The report warned that there is currently no conclusive evidence for the beneficial effects of intense sweetener consumption on the incidence of type 2 diabetes, blood sugar management for diabetics, sweetness perception or weight management- and argued that further research on both the possible pros and cons is warranted.