Low calorie foods and drinks with aspartame make a useful contribution to weight control

A Scientific Opinion issued by EFSA on 30 June 2011 states that there is not sufficient evidence to demonstrate that sugar-sweetened foods and drinks cause weight gain, and that there is not sufficient evidence that replacing them with low calorie alternatives therefore helps people to control their weight.

Nevertheless, it remains a matter of common sense that providing choices of foods and beverages with fewer calories can only be helpful to people who want to reduce or control their weight. Products with low calorie sweeteners provide substantial calorie savings:

Type of food or drink Calorie content: food or drink with sugar Calorie content: food or drink with low calorie sweeteners
Cola Soft Drink (330ml) 139 kcal 0.7 kcal
Fruit Drink (250ml) 184 kcal 27 kcal
Strawberry Yogurt
(125g pot)
118 kcal 84 kcal
Raspberry Jelly (100g) 80 kcal 5 kcal
Orange Squash (250ml) 110 kcal 5 kcal
Tea/Coffee with Sugar or Tabletop Sweetener 16 kcal (1 teaspoon) 1 kcal (1 tablet)

In coming to its opinion, the EFSA panel chose to group together aspartame and other low calorie sweeteners. Virtually all of the scientific studies that do show a beneficial effect from replacing sugar-sweetened products with low calorie alternatives have been conducted using aspartame. Of all the low calorie sweeteners, aspartame tastes most like sugar.

Decades of experience shows that the better tasting low calorie foods and drinks are, the more likely it is that people will choose them regularly as part of their diet and for rehydration.

30 June 2011