WHO Warns of Health Risks of Sweeteners to Replace Sugar

    Sweeteners that replace sugar would also not help reduce non-communicable diseases (NCDs), such as cancer or diabetes, the report says

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    The World Health Organization (WHO) advises against the use of non-sugar sweeteners for weight loss. According to a directive that the institution published last Tuesday, consuming these products does not offer significant long-term benefits to reduce body fat in adults or children.

    Sweeteners that replace sugar would not help reduce non-communicable diseases (NCDs), such as cancer or diabetes, either, the WHO report collects. The WHO also warned that prolonged use of sweeteners would increase the risks of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and premature death in adults.

    This would apply to all sugar-free sweeteners, from saccharin and sucralose to stevia, including those that are integrated into food and beverages, such as the well-known “light” or “zero” soft drinks. “Zero calorie” soft drinks would also not help you lose weight or prevent disease, according to the WHO.

    No nutritional value included in them

    Unsweetened sweeteners “are not essential dietary factors and lack nutritional value”, Francesco Branca, WHO director of Nutrition and Food Safety, said in a statement. The institution recommends, instead of replacing sugar with other products, to completely eliminate and from an early age the consumption of drinks and foods with sweet flavors, with the exception of natural fruits.

    These tips are addressed to all people except those with pre-existing diabetes, according to the WHO. They do not apply, in any case, to the sweeteners contained in some medicines and personal care or hygiene products, such as toothpastes and skin creams, nor to low-calorie sugars and sugar alcohols (polyols).

    The WHO framed this recommendation in a set of guidelines to “establish lifelong healthy eating habits, improve the quality of the diet and reduce the risk of non-communicable diseases worldwide”, according to the statement.

    Resonance Costa Rica
    At Resonance, we aspire to live in harmony with the natural world as a reflection of our gratitude for life. Visit and subscribe at Resonance Costa Rica Youtube Channel
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