The Committee on Low-Calorie Sweeteners seeks to clarify the science and research needs towards identifying the potential role of low-calorie sweeteners in satiety, energy intake, and ultimately weight management.
CURRENT ACTIVITIES AND EVENTS
Low-calorie sweeteners (LCS) are used in a variety of beverages and foods to provide sweet taste without calories. Recently, questions have been raised about the impact of LCS on sweet taste conditioning, impact on hunger and satiety, efficacy in weight management, and patterns of use by the general population and by young people. To date, there have been several individual sessions, papers, and workshops on the topic, which make it difficult to understand the message of the full body of scientific work. In an obesogenic environment in which population intake of sugars is higher than recommended, it is important to understand the potential for LCS to serve as a useful tool for weight management. More recently, the 2010 Dietary Guidelines state that “replacing added sugars with non-caloric sweeteners may reduce calorie intake in the short-term, yet questions remain about their effectiveness as a weight management strategy.”
A workshop held 7–8 April 2011, examined the potential of LCS to serve as a useful tool in weight management, therefore addressing the stated 2010 Dietary Guidelines research need. The meeting addressed mechanisms of sweet taste, appropriate experimental design, current understanding of the impact on energy intake and satiety, and the prevalence of
low-calorie sweeteners in the food supply (occurrence, use, and intake). The workshop also examined the existing science behind these issues, provided expert evaluations, and identified knowledge gaps and research needs. To access a copy of the workshop program, click here.
Interviews with speakers from this workshop were conducted through a cooperative efforts with International Food Information Council Foundation to further harvest of the committee’s work. :
A webinar titled “Low-Calorie Sweeteners and Weight: A Webinar for Health Educators” covered material from this conference and aired on October 12, 2011. This event was co-sponsored by USDA Cooperative Extension, and a recording of this presentation is available here.
A full supplement has been submitted to a peer-reviewed journal. Each paper within the supplement will address one session topic and include a summary of the discussion points and outcomes. Presentations from the meeting are accessible below.
Low-Calorie Sweeteners and Weight: A Webinar for Health Educators
This webinar was presented on 12 October 2011, in partnership with ILSI North America and USDA's eXtension's Families, Food, and Fitness Community of Practice. Findings from the April 2011 ILSI North America workshop were presented to over 110 extension agents across the country. The session recording and a pdf of the presentation are available here.
In addition to the presenation several USDA eXtension articles have featured the important information shared during the Low-Calorie Sweetners webinar:
Low Calorie Sweeteners and Weight Loss – Can using low calorie sweeteners help you reach your weight loss goals?
Low Calorie Sweeteners and Weight Gain – Do diet drinks make you fat?
Can diet drinks help with childhood obesity?