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An article in the most recent issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2012;96:640-6) was titled, Low-calorie sweetener consumption is increasing in the United States. The authors used the information from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) in order to report their results. Specifically they looked at the consumption of low-calorie sweeteners (LCS) during the years 1999-2000 as compared to 2007-2008. They reported that in 2007-2008, as compared to 1999-2000, the consumption of LCS increased from 6.1% to 12.5% among children and from 18.7% to 24.1% among adults. Furthermore, the increase in LCS were observed in all weight, age, socioeconomic and race-ethnicity subgroups in both children and adults.
Comment: We are inundated with artificial sweeteners such as aspartame (Nutrasweet) and sucralose (Splenda). Nearly all of the low-fat food available is sweetened with an artificial sweetener. We have been told by the American Diabetes Association and the American Dietetic Association (now known as the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics) that artificial sweeteners are a safe and effective way to lower caloric intake and help with weight loss. They are wrong.
Over the last 30 years, we have continually ingested more and more artificial sweeteners and there has been no decrease in our country-wide obesity problem. In fact, the opposite has occurred; as a population we are becoming more obese. Currently, two-thirds of Americans are overweight and one-third are obese. Perhaps the only correlation that can be concluded is that using artificial sweeteners is associated with obesity.
David Brownstein, M.D. is a Board-Certified family physician and is one of the foremost practitioners of holistic medicine. He is the Medical Director of the Center for Holistic Medicine in West Bloomfield, MI. Dr. Brownstein has lectured internationally to physicians and others about his success in using natural hormones and nutritional therapies in his practice.