Jutha Gupah, Maiduguri
May 17, 2023.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned people against the consumption of Non-Sugar Sweeteners (NSS) in controlling and maintenance of their body weight,
According to the Organisation, the taking of NSS also does not reduce the risk of non-communicable diseases across the globe.
The health risk sweeteners included acesulfame K, aspartame, advantame, cyclamates, and neotame, saccharin, sucralose, stevia and other stevia derivatives.
The WHO raised the alarm, yesterday (Wednesday), in Damaturu, Yobe state, by the Director, Nutrition and Safety, Francesco Branca.
“Our recommendation was based on the findings of a systematic review of the available evidence which suggests that the use of NSS has no long-term benefits in reducing weight in adults and children,” he declared.
Continued; “Results of the review also suggest that there may be potential undesirable effects from long-term use of NSS,” adding that it increases the risk of type II diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and adult mortality.
He, therefore, urged the people to reduce their free sugars intake, including the consumption of food with naturally occurring sugars, like fruits, or unsweetened food and beverages,
“People should reduce the sweetness of the diets altogether, starting early in life, to improve their health,” he warned.
According to him, the exception are individuals with pre-existing diabetes and includes all synthetic and naturally occurring or modified non-nutritive sweeteners.
He said the modified sweeteners are not classified as sugars found in manufactured foods and other beverages.
“The recommendation also does not apply to personal care and hygiene products containing NSS, such as toothpaste, skin cream, and medications or to low-calorie sugars and sugar alcohols.
“They are sugars or sugar derivatives containing calories and are therefore not considered NSS.”
He noted that the link observed in the evidence between NSS and disease outcomes could be confounded by baseline characteristics of study participants and the NSS complicated patterns of use.
He said that this signals that; policy decisions based on this recommendation may require substantive discussion in specific country contexts.