Consumption of foods and beverages containing low-calorie sweeteners has increased by 200 per cent between 1999 to 2012 among US kids, a new study has warned.About 41 per cent of adults in the US also reported consuming foods and beverages containing low-calorie sweeteners (LCS), which represent a 54 per cent jump for adults from 1999 to 2012."Just 8.7 per cent of kids reported consuming low-calorie sweeteners in 1999 and thirteen years later that number had risen to 25.1 per cent," said Allison Sylvetsky, assistant professor at the George Washington University in the US."Kids are not alone in this trend. More adults also are taking in low-calorie sweeteners in diet soft drinks and in a variety of foods and snack items," said Sylvetsky."The findings are important, especially for children, because some studies suggest a link between low-calorie sweeteners and obesity, diabetes and other health issues," Sylvetsky added.Low-calorie sweeteners are often used in place of added sugars such as sucrose and high- fructose corn syrup.This study is the first to look at the use of low-calorie sweeteners in foods, beverages and packets using the most recent data for the US population.It clearly shows a striking increase in LCS consumption for US children and teens, said Sylvetsky.The researchers conducted a cross sectional study using data from nearly 17,000 men, women and children included in the US National Health and Nutrition Evaluation Survey (NHANES) from 2009 to 2012 and compared the findings to their prior analysis using data from 1999-2008.Researchers used the survey results from two dietary interviews in which consumers recalled what they ate or drank during a previous 24 hour period.The study found that out of those reporting consumption of low-calorie sweeteners, 44 per cent of adults and 20 per cent of children consumed them more than once a day.It also found that 17 per cent of adults had a food or beverage sweetened with these products three times a day or more.The likelihood of consuming low-calorie sweeteners went up as adult body mass index (BMI), a measure of obesity, went up, researchers have found.They added that 19 per cent of adults with obesity compared to 13 per cent of normal weight adults used LCS products three times a day or more.About 70 per cent of LCS consumption occurred at home and this study shows that children as young as two are eating or drinking LCS-sweetened foods and beverages.The study was published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
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