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Medical News & Perspectives
May 14, 2008

Sugar Substitutes Linked to Weight Gain

JAMA. 2008;299(18):2137-2138. doi:10.1001/jama.299.18.2137

Although low-calorie sweeteners are a dietary staple for many individuals trying to maintain or lose weight, an emerging body of evidence suggests these substances offer little help to dieters and may even help promote weight gain.

A 2007 review found that laboratory, epidemiological, and clinical studies examining effects of low-calorie sweeteners presented an unclear picture of their usefulness (Bellisle F and Drewnowski A. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2007;61[6]:691-700). Because the scientific findings are mixed, there is currently no official recommendation about using artificial sweeteners as a tool for weight control.

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