Volume : 4
Issue : 1
Year : 2021
Page No : 13-18
Introduction: Obesity is one of the leading causes for morbidity and mortality worldwide and various countermeasures to tackle this global malice have been implemented, one of these being low-calorie sweeteners (LCS). However, unbeknownst to many, habitual use of such sweeteners could potentially have several detrimental effects on health of the consumer. The present research was undertaken to assess the awareness about these adverse effects in Indian population.
Materials and Methods: An online questionnaire-based survey was carried out on a sample size comprising of 607 individuals of Indian nationality. The questionnaire comprised of 18 closed-ended questions pertaining to use of LCS and awareness about their adverse effects.
Results: While majority of respondents declared that they added sugar in their food/beverages regularly, 51.65% of respondents preferred ‘Diet/Low calorie’ products containing LCS in the market over sugaradded products. Sucralose was found to be most popular amongst various commercially available artificial sweeteners. There was a statistically significant difference seen for the responses pertaining to awareness about artificial sweeteners and their uses or benefits between various educational groups (p<0> respondents with lower educational qualification.
Conclusion: Although artificial sweeteners are presently being marketed widely as health substitutes, data regarding the possible adverse effects associated with their frequent use is still limited. Case-control studies are required to establish causal relationship between various artificial sweeteners and elicited adverse effects. The general population needs to be cautioned against unwarranted and injudicious use of LCS.
Keywords: Artificial sweeteners, Obesity, Body Mass Index, Diet, Nutrition, Sugar substitutes.