FT. WASHINGTON, Pa., Jan. 14, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Determined to keep your New Year resolution this year and lose that extra weight? Consider adding low-calorie sweeteners to your daily routine.
A new study from the University of Washington suggests that people who use low-calorie sweeteners have better diets and exercise more than people who don't use them (http://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/6/10/4389).
Researchers examined a decade of data (1999-2008) on more than 22,000 people who had participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). The Survey is conducted every two years by the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention to determine how people consume foods and drinks made with no, low and reduced-calorie sweeteners. Their results were published in the journal, Nutrients, and report that compared to people who don't use low-calorie sweeteners, those who did had:
- "significantly higher" healthy eating scores
- were more physically active
- were less likely to smoke
- were less likely to consume solid fats, added sugar, and alcohol.
The diet quality of the Survey participants was measured using the Healthy Eating Index (HEI), developed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to assess how people comply with dietary recommendations. Physical activity, as well as other health behaviors such as tobacco and alcohol use, were self-reported by participants.
Researchers said the study uses Federal measures of diet quality to counter interpretations of past research that low-calorie sweeteners may confuse the body, contribute to weight gain or promote lower quality diets overall. "The present analyses do not support that interpretation," they conclude.
"Experts agree that setting small goals and arming yourself with good tools can help people succeed at their weight loss goals without feeling overwhelmed," says Maureen Conway, R.D., Director of Nutritional Affairs, McNeil Nutritionals, LLC. "The results found in this analysis clearly support this view. This builds on existing science that low-calorie sweeteners like SPLENDA®, as part of a healthy meal plan and with regular physical activity, can be an excellent way to help with weight loss and weight maintenance."
The authors also note that consumers of low-calorie sweeteners "may differ in several, previously unobserved, ways from non-consumers in terms of their health behaviors," and that the positive health behaviors were observed for all product categories -- tabletop sweeteners, diet beverages and low calorie foods. They further suggest that low-calorie sweetener use may be a marker for other positive health behaviors and lifestyles.
Sucralose, the sweetening ingredient in SPLENDA® Sweetener Products, has been used safely by millions of people around the world for more than 20 years, supported by research data from more than 100 studies. Both the American Diabetes Association (ADA) and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) support the use of low-calorie sweeteners such as sucralose as a useful tool in managing weight and diabetes. For more information, visit www.splenda.com and www.splendaliving.com