WHO recommends that sweeteners be avoided for weight loss.
Sweeteners with low or no calories are used to sweeten foods and beverages.
As a sugar substitute, many people add non-sugarsweeteners to their food and drinks to avoid becoming overweight or obese.
The WHO now says that sweeteners do not reduce body fat over the long term in either adults or children.
The WHO stated that although using NSS for a short time may result in minor weight loss, long-term use could have “unwanted effects”, such as an increase risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and death.
Francesco Branca is the director of nutrition and food safety for WHO. He warned that “NSS do not constitute essential dietary elements and do not have any nutritional value.”
“People should consider alternative ways to reduce their intake of free sugars. For example, they can consume foods with naturally occurring sugars like fruit or beverages and food that are not sweetened.
To improve health, people should start reducing the amount of sugar in their diet as early as possible.
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The organization reviewed data from 283 different studies that were conducted on adults, children, pregnant mothers or mixed populations.
It released a conditional guideline that recommends people, except for those with diabetes, to avoid using NSS as a way to reduce their risk of noncommunicable diseases.
The authors say that further research is required.
Dr Duane MELLORN, a registered dietitian at Aston Medical School and senior lecturer, believes sweeteners can still be used as a “stepping-stone” to reduce sugar consumption.
Cadbury has said that it is “working very hard” on alternative products with 75% less sugar and fat, as well as lower calories.
Last year, the popular chocolate brand revealed that it was working on creating low-calorie versions and new products of some of their existing chocolate bars and cookies.
Mondelez’s US-based owner of the brand, Sky News, stated: “We do not plan to change the original recipes for the bars that are currently available, but it is important to offer consumers a choice.”
Dirk van de Put is the chief executive at Mondelez. According to The Sunday Telegraph, van de Put said: “It will be like diet drinks, and it will grow very slowly. But we have to keep this product on the market.”
It will take some time before consumers really accept it because the taste is still not exactly the same – but it’s getting closer.”
In previous years, Cadbury launched a 30% lower sugar version of its Dairy Milk chocolate bar. The product was not popular among customers.
Belvita biscuits and Maynards Bassetts Wine Gums are also products that have been adapted.