Parents need to be extra careful when they’re looking at kids’ food labelled “low in sugar,” a new report suggests.
But experts argue there is still not enough research to determine what sweeteners can to do a child’s overall health.
“We need more research into the use of non-nutritive sweeteners and the risk for obesity and Type 2 diabetes, especially in children,” Dr. Carissa Baker-Smith, lead author of the AAP policy statement, said in a statement.
“Considering how many children are regularly consuming these products — which have become ubiquitous — we should have a better understanding of how they impact children’s long-term health.”
The other issue, authors added, is that parents simply can’t tell if a product has a sweetener. Often, products that use artificial sweeteners may use labels like “low sugar” or even “no sugar” on their packaging, referring to refined white sugar.
What are sweeteners?
weeteners are food additives used to simulate a sense of sweetness.
“The overuse of sugar in the Western diet has been shown to contribute to excess weight, which can lead to further health risks such as diabetes and heart disease,” she explained.
“In the last few decades, researchers have found and developed new ways to sweeten our food without the actual use of sugar.”