Dispatches from the ISA conference

Low-cal sweeteners can help reverse obesity epidemic, says expert

By Nathan Gray

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Low calorie sweeteners, Obesity

Low-cal sweeteners can help reverse obesity epidemic, says expert
The modern consumer environment makes it too easy to consume too much, but by replacing calorie dense sugars with low calorie sweeteners, industry has a powerful tool in the fight against obesity, says Dr Tommy Visscher.

Speaking with FoodNavigator at the recent International Sweetener Association (ISA) conference in Brussels, Dr Visscher, who is research co-ordinator at the Research Centre for the Prevention of Overweight in The Netherlands, said that one of the main problems with tackling obesity is that, in many peoplee, weight gains are very small and gradual.

He argued that the best way to reverse the effects of the current ‘epidemic’ of obesity is to try and reverse the effects in a similar way.

“Because the cause of the obesity epidemic is small yearly increases in body weight, of course then the solution should be decreases in body weight,” ​said Visscher.

He added that even a relatively small weight reduction of around three kilograms has been shown to have large beneficial effects for health, including halving the risk of developing diabetes, and that increasing the use of low calorie sweeteners in foods and drinks is a solution with “high potential.”

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