Aspartame: Health Concern Or Hype?
The consumption of Aspartame and other artificial sweeteners pose no health threats to humans, according to decades of research and rigorous, science-based testing. This fact is supported even more strongly when compared to the deleterious effects of sugar consumption, which is widely believed to have fueled America s current obesity epidemic.
The simplistic and misguided notion that natural is always better than artificial is a dangerous misperception that threatens the overall health of every day Americans, according to the American Council on Science and Health. And in this important debate, it is imperative that facts triumph over fear and misinformation.
"Aspartame is a great example of the problem in blindly embracing the naturalistic fallacy that natural must be better," said Hank Campbell, President of the American Council on Science and Health. "Instead, too much sugar has been shown over and over to be a risk factor for obesity and type 2 diabetes. Meanwhile, artificial sweeteners have never been shown to cause any problem in humans, or even in animal studies ingesting 10 times the realistic usage."
In our new publication, What s the Story? Aspartame, the Council uses straightforward language to reveal the chemistry of the sweetener, while clearly describing why its ordinary consumption cannot be harmful.
Read our PDF versions:
Watch our comprehensive video here.
Context is also provided about exposure, which explains why scary chemicals like formaldehyde, a byproduct of Aspartame during digestion, only pose threats to humans such as embalmers, who are exposed to large amounts of the chemical over a long period. Critics of artificial sweeteners also fail to say that formaldehyde is found in a variety of fruits and vegetables and it s not harmful because only a very small amount is present, the same reason that it is not harmful in soda.
Just recently, The New York Times published an analysis titled The Evidence Supports Artificial Sweeteners Over Sugar, highlighting additional science-based information supporting the safety of aspartame as well as the relative danger of sugar consumption.
Read the Times article here.
And here is a small sample of our past coverage:
ACSH advisor Dr. William London of the National Council Against Health Fraud notes that the anti-Aspartame campaign seems to be a plank of the broader war against genetically-modified foods - and forwarded the story an elderly gentleman who thinks his 'man-breasts' were caused by aspartame...(more)
Past research on the efficacy of low calorie sweeteners (LCS) for weight loss has had mixed results, with some studies showing no effect or weight gain, but a new study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition perhaps can explain these discrepancies. (more)
The prevalence of obesity is up not just in the United States, but in 188 countries around the world, according to nearly 1800 surveys, reports, and published studies that included data for height and weight, both through physical measurements and self-reports. The good news is that another study has refuted the rather bizarre theory that beverages with fewer calories are linked to weight gain rather than weight loss. (more)
Inadequate study populations, suspect methods of data collection, confounders and lack of controls, correlation vs. causation - a study in Israel managed to get everything wrong in a look at Aspartame that was empty calories for people who care about evidence-based decision-making. (more)