As rates of obesity and non-communicable diseases (NCDs) including diabetes and dental caries continue to increase worldwide and calorie and sugar reduction have become public health priorities, and in the context of the increased scientific interest around the role low/no calorie sweeteners can play in weight and diabetes control, the International Sweeteners Association (ISA) organised the scientific symposium “Low calorie sweeteners in the human diet: Scientific evidence and recommendations about their use and benefits” on 16th October and as part of the 13th European Nutrition Conference (FENS 2019), held from 15th to 18th October in Dublin (Ireland)

Presenting findings from recent research around these topics, Prof Jason Halford, University of Liverpool (UK), Prof Anne Raben, University of Copenhagen (Denmark), and Prof Margaret Ashwell OBE, Ashwell Associates (UK) highlighted the useful role of alternative sweeteners including diet beverages, which enable people to reduce, or manage calorie intake, and in turn manage their body weight, while continuing to enjoy a palatable diet. In this way, they enable people to align two potential conflicting goals, in this case hedonic eating and successful weight control, according to new studies from the University of Liverpool. Evidence further shows that low/no calorie sweeteners do not affect blood glucose control and lead to a lower blood glucose rise compared to sugars. In this way, alternate sweeteners can play a useful role in dietary approaches to help in the prevention and management of diabetes, if used as part of an overall healthy and balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle.