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Don’t count on artificial sweeteners for weight loss, experts say

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Switching to diet soda to try to shed a few pounds? The World Health Organization says use of non-sugar sweeteners in foods and beverages “does not confer any long-term benefit in reducing body fat.” 

In recently released guidance, WHO also states that long-term consumption of non-sugar sweeteners – common types of which include aspartame, saccharin, sucralose and stevia – may increase adults’ risk of Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and death.

Non-sugar sweeteners “are not essential dietary factors and have no nutritional value,” Francesco Branca, WHO’s director for nutrition and food safety, said in a press release. “People should reduce the sweetness of the diet altogether, starting early in life, to improve their health.”

WHO notes that its recommendation doesn’t apply to people with diabetes.

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