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Consumption and Effect of Artificial Sweeteners and Artificially Sweetened Products on Lebanese Population

Journal: International Journal of Environment, Agriculture and Biotechnology (Vol.5, No. 4)

Publication Date:

Authors : ;

Page : 882-889

Keywords : Lebanon; sweetener; effect; artificial; population; dietitians;

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Non-caloric or non-nutritive artificial sweeteners are chemically synthesized or extracted from natural sources to replace regular sugar. The main reasons behind using artificial sweeteners are weight loss, blood sugar control for diabetic people, and dental caries prevention. Although many studies support the use of sweeteners and artificially sweetened products, others focus on the long-term negative consequences of their usage. A survey was conducted to explore the effect and prevalence of non-caloric tabletop sweeteners and non-caloric sweetened products consumption among Lebanese population based on their Body Mass Index (BMI), sex, age, and health. The survey was completed by a sample of 457 subjects. The questionnaire included consumption pattern, brands used, and the frequency of consuming artificial sweeteners and sweetened products. Data showed that 30% of Lebanese population consumes artificial sweeteners as tabletop while 31% consumes artificially sweetened products. Sucralose was the most consumed sweetener; however, its daily intake range was far below its Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI). The highest percentage of consumers (41%) made the shift to sweeteners from regular tabletop sugar around one year prior to this study. With increasing age, there was a decrease in the percentage of respondents who observed “weight loss” due to replacing regular sugar with sweeteners. The study determined that the majority of respondents (66%) were unaware of the side effects of these sweeteners. Also, the majority of diabetic respondents (78%) and (57%) did not observe any decrease in HbA1c and blood sugar levels, respectively. In a complementary survey that targeted Lebanese dietitians, 78% recommended the use of tabletop sweeteners instead of tabletop sugar, while 52% did not support the consumption of artificially sweetened products. Also, the survey showed that “Nevella” was the most recommended brand by (57%) of dietitians.

Last modified: 2020-08-01 17:28:01