Intended for healthcare professionals


Non-sugar sweeteners: lack of evidence that they help to control weight

BMJ 2019; 364 doi: (Published 03 January 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;364:l7
  1. Zosia Kmietowicz
  1. The BMJ

There is no compelling evidence that non-sugar sweeteners improve health or help people to lose weight, a review of published studies has found.

Many people are eating foods and drinks that contain non-sugar sweeteners rather than sugar in the belief that these are healthier, and although several non-sugar sweeteners are approved, the evidence about their potential benefits and harms is often limited and conflicting, according to European researchers reporting in The BMJ.1

To understand these potential benefits and harms better they analysed 56 studies comparing no intake or lower intake of non-sugar sweeteners with higher intake in healthy adults and children. Of these studies, …

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