WHO Advises Against Using Sugar Substitutes

The World Health Organization (WHO) has issued new guidance advising against the use of sugar substitutes for weight loss. The organization’s systematic overview of to be had proof indicates that the usage of non-sugar sweeteners (NSS) does not confer long-term benefits in reducing body fat in adults or children. The guidance applies to all individuals except those with preexisting diabetes, as the studies included in the review did not involve people with diabetes.

Impact on Weight Loss and Health

While non-sugar sweeteners were found to cause a mild reduction in body weight in the short term, the WHO’s review indicated that this effect was not sustainable over the long term. Furthermore, there might be potential undesirable effects associated with the long-term use of sugar Substitutes, together with a barely multiplied hazard of kind 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.

Not a Comment on Safety

The recommendation against using sugar substitutes for weight loss is not meant to comment on the safety of consumption. Instead, it is focused on the lack of evidence supporting their effectiveness in reducing obesity, controlling weight, or mitigating the risk of noncommunicable diseases.

Recommended Alternatives

The WHO suggests that individuals seeking to manage their weight and reduce sugar intake should cut back on using sugar-sweetened drinks. They can also opt for using raw or lightly processed fruit as a source of sweetness. This guidance emphasizes that sugar intake still has relevance to weight control.

Industry and Researcher Responses

The International Sweeteners Association expressed disappointment with the WHO’s conclusions, stating that the benefits of low/no calorie sweeteners are not being recognized. Some experts, however, supported the recommendation, suggesting that the focus should be on cutting sugar intake and relying on natural sources of sweetness.


The WHO’s guidance advises against using non-sugar sweeteners for weight loss, based on a comprehensive review of the scientific literature. While short-term effects on body weight were observed, the organization found no evidence of sustained benefits over time. This recommendation is aimed at helping individuals make informed dietary choices to support their overall health and weight management goals.