A recent study published in the journal Obesity supplies further evidence that low-calorie sweetened beverages, including those that use sucralose (Splenda) can be useful for people who want to achieve and maintain a lower weight.
Recently collected by a team of researchers, the new data comes from 434 participants in the landmark National Weight Control Registry. These are people who have successfully achieved and maintained a weight loss of 30 pounds or more for more than a year — something that makes them successful outliers in the realm of obesity studies. The researchers wanted to see what, if any, role low and no calorie sweetened beverages played in the diet of these successful weight loss maintainers.
They found that most successful “losers” (53%) regularly consume low or no-calorie sweetened beverages. Compare that to only 28% in the regular population. Of those, the majority (78%) said they believe that low and no calorie sweeteners helped to control or reduce their total calorie or food intake.
Participants gave very sensible reasons why they used sweeteners- taste, thirst, routine, and calorie control and a substantial proportion considered changes in patterns of beverage consumption to be very important for weight loss and maintenance. Their overall strategies were primarily to drink more water and reduce their consumption of caloric beverages.
This is great news for those confused by the fearmongering of diet soda and sweeteners in the news lately. Nutrition and dietary advice is a complicated realm where dogma vs. data plays out regularly. On one side you have opinions and warning against low-calorie sweetened beverages that just isn’t supported by sound science.
This sort of advice just isn’t supported by the science, especially studies involving humans. As I’m sure you’ve heard before: correlations does not equal causation. Objective reviews of scientific evidence by independent scientific bodies and regulatory authorities have concluded that foods and beverages sweetened with sucralose are a safe, reasonable tool for reducing the consumption of added sugars.