Children’s diet soft drink consumption doubles in a decade

By Caroline Scott-Thomas

- Last updated on GMT

Children’s diet soft drink consumption doubles in a decade

Related tags: Soft drink

Children’s consumption of beverages sweetened with low-calorie or no-calorie sweeteners has more than doubled over the past decade in the United States, according to a new study.

Using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), researchers writing in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition​ found that 6.1% of children reported drinking sugar-free soft drinks in 1999-2000, compared to 12.5% in 2007-2008. Adults’ consumption of artificially sweetened drinks has increased during that time too, though not as rapidly, from 18.7% in 1999-2000 to 24.1% in 2007-2008.

Led by Allison Sylvetsky of Emory University in Atlanta, the researchers suggested several possible reasons for the increase in consumption of sugar-free soft drinks, including obesity prevention campaigns, increased negative health associations of excessive sugar consumption in recent years, or increased prevalence of type 2 diabetes. However they added that further research was necessary to determine the health effects of low-calorie sweetener consumption on young children, if any.

“Given recent discussions of taxing sugar-sweetened beverages and banning regular sodas in school systems and the growing popularity of differential pricing structures to promote healthier choices, it can be anticipated that LCS ​[low-calorie sweetener] consumption will increase further,”​ they wrote. “Most importantly, given the rapid increases in LCS consumption among children, their long-term effects, particularly when started in the early years, need to be studied.”

Calling for further research into artificial sweetener consumption and weight management, they cite previous research that has suggested a correlation between higher consumption of artificially sweetened soft drinks and increased prevalence of overweight and obesity. However, it is unclear​ whether artificial sweeteners actually cause weight gain, or whether overweight individuals are more likely to consume artificially sweetened drinks in an effort to control their weight.

While the study’s authors found increased consumption of sugar-free soft drinks, they found little change in consumption of foods containing low-calorie sweeteners between the two periods they examined.


Source: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

First published online August 1, 2012; doi: 10.3945/ajcn.112.034751

“Low-calorie sweetener consumption is increasing in the United States”

Authors: Allison C Sylvetsky, Jean A Welsh, Rebecca J Brown, and Miriam B Vos

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1 comment

Why testing "aspartame" is a waste of time

Posted by James McDonald,

Aspartame as a whole molecule exists only for a very short time in the body. When it reaches a temperature of 86 degrees f, the methyl ester which binds the two amino acids together reverts back to its original pure methanol breaking the bond, thus completely separating the 3 components which are now free. This can happen in the mouth (chewing gum)in hot drinks (tabletop sweeteners) due to poor storage (in the desert)………..The role of an artificial sweetener is complete when it meets our taste receptors in the mouth, tricks our brain into thinking the body has received sugar when it hasn’t, then, in the case of aspartame, discharges its toxic waste ( methanol, Phenylalanine and aspartic acid) into our gut for our bodies to get rid of………..That is why testing for reactions to “aspartame” is useless, any toxic reactions can only come from its two amino acids and the breakdown products – methanol/formaldehyde and Diketopiperazine (DEP)………..NOTE: when aspartame was approved for use in our food in the US and UK, the severe metabolic toxicity of aspartame’s methanol was never established, it was considered “not of concern?” As a result of this the ADI of aspartame in the UK is 35 times too high and in the US it is 44 Times too high and has been for the last 30 years.

James McDonald
UK Aspartame awareness Campaign (UKAAC)

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