Parents may be interested in a new study that shows children’s consumption of low-calorie sweeteners is on the rise. Typically found in “light” and “low-calorie” beverages and foods, such products include aspartame, sucralose, and saccharin.
Researchers from George Washington University came to their conclusion after analyzing the most recent National Health and Nutrition Evaluation Survey (NHANES) results. Based on their findings, the number of American children eating products made with low-calorie sweeteners has risen by roughly 200 percent. Not only that, but 80 percent of kids are eating low-calorie sweeteners at least once a day—and often at home.
“Just 8.7 percent of kids reported consuming low-calorie sweeteners in 1999 and thirteen years later that number had risen to 25.1 percent,” said lead author Allison Sylvetsky, PhD in a recent news release. “The findings are important, especially for children, because some studies suggest a line between low-calorie sweeteners and obesity, diabetes and other health issues.”
Experts recommend paying close attention to nutrition labels on foods and beverages, as well as encouraging kids to make healthy choices about what they eat and drink. “Drink water instead of soda. Sweeten a serving of plain yogurt with a little fruit,” recommends Sylvetsky.