Intended for healthcare professionals

Letters Non-sugar sweeteners and health

Sweeteners are added to modify consumer behaviour

BMJ 2019; 364 doi: (Published 25 January 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;364:l366
  1. Sven E Jordt, associate professor of anaesthesiology, pharmacology, and cancer biology,
  2. Sairam Jabba, senior research associate, department of anaesthesiology
  1. Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, NC 27710-3094, USA
  1. sven.jordt{at}

The meta-analysis by Toews and colleagues indicates that artificial sweeteners are safe to consume, but their uses go beyond sugar substitution and calorie reduction.12 Artificial sweeteners allow the cheaper and more efficient production of highly processed foods with long shelf lives and enable the formulation of new sweet products.

Sweeteners such as sucralose or aspartame are 200-600 times sweeter than sugar. Novel candy products and beverages often contain sugar and artificial …

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