NEW DELHI: In a bid to combat the rising obesity rates and reduce the risk of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), the World Health Organization (WHO) has issued a significant guideline advising against the consumption of non-sugar sweeteners (NSS). The newly released guideline aims to enlighten individuals about the potential dangers of these artificial sweeteners and promote healthier alternatives. With the widespread use of NSS in diet foods, drinks, and even medications, this advice holds significant importance for people striving for a balanced and healthy lifestyle.
Non-sugar sweeteners, also known as artificial sweeteners, are additives used to enhance the sweetness of food and beverages without contributing to calorie intake. Often marketed as a healthier alternative to sugar, they have gained popularity among individuals seeking to manage their weight or control their sugar consumption. However, the WHO’s guideline, based on an extensive review of scientific evidence, challenges the effectiveness and safety claims associated with these sweeteners.
According to the WHO’s review, there is a lack of evidence supporting the long-term benefits of NSS in weight loss or weight maintenance. In fact, the findings suggest a potential link between the consumption of NSS and an increased risk of certain health problems, including type 2 diabetes and heart disease. This revelation underscores the need for caution when relying on NSS as a weight management strategy.
It is important to note that the WHO’s recommendation does not apply to individuals with pre-existing diabetes, as non-sugar sweeteners may serve a purpose in managing their blood sugar levels. However, even in these cases, the guideline advises limiting the consumption of NSS.
The WHO’s guideline serves as a significant milestone in the global fight against obesity and NCDs. By discouraging the use of NSS, the organization sends a clear message that these artificial sweeteners are neither safe nor effective for achieving weight loss or improving overall health.
To assist readers in reducing their intake of NSS, the WHO suggests several practical tips:
- Carefully read food labels and avoid products that contain non-sugar sweeteners.
- Opt for natural sweeteners, such as honey, maple syrup, or fruit juice, to add sweetness to food and beverages.
- Increase the consumption of fruits and vegetables, which offer natural sweetness while being low in calories.
- Choose water as a healthy alternative to sugary drinks, which often contain non-sugar sweeteners.
By incorporating these recommendations into their daily lives, individuals can effectively reduce their intake of non-sugar sweeteners and enhance their overall well-being.
WHO’s advice against consuming non-sugar sweeteners highlights the potential risks associated with these additives. By urging individuals to opt for healthier alternatives and make informed choices, the guideline aims to empower readers to lead healthier lives. Taking this advice to heart, Indian readers can make small but impactful changes to their diets and pave the way for a healthier and happier future.