Artificial Sweetener Use Skyrocketed Among US Children

HealthDay News — Consumption of foods and beverages with low-calorie sweeteners such as aspartame, sucralose, and saccharin rose 200% among children between 1999 and 2012, while their use rose 54% among adults, according to a study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Allison Sylvetsky, PhD, of George Washington University in Washington, DC, and colleagues used data from 16,986 men, women, and children included in the US National Health and Nutrition Evaluation Survey from 2009 to 2012. The authors compared the findings to 1999-2008 survey results.

In 2012, 25.1% of children and 41.4% of adults said they used products with low-calorie sweeteners, the researchers found. “Just 8.7% of kids reported consuming low-calorie sweeteners in 1999,” Dr Sylvetsky said in a university news release.

“Low-calorie sweetener consumption is highly prevalent in the United States, among both children and adults,” the researchers wrote. “Well-controlled, prospective trials are required to understand the health impact of this widespread low-calorie sweetener exposure.”

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  1. Sylvetsky AC, Jin Y, Clark EJ, Welsh JA, Rother KI, Talegawkar SA. Consumption of low-calorie sweeteners among children and adults in the United States [published online January 10, 2017]. J Acad Nutr Diet. doi: 10.1016/j.jand.2016.11.004