Does WHO Upcoming Listing on “Artificial Sweetener to be Possibly Cancerous” Challenging the Common Food Habits?

Artificial sweeteners, the nonnutritive and low-calorie intense sweeteners, are an integral part of dietary products such as beverages, drugs, cosmetics, etc. Everyone, from kids to grandparents loves snacks rich in sugar due to the continuous lucrative marketing of sweetener-based product manufacturers.

As sugary diets are prevalent and lead to overweight and obesity among children in the early ages. Their use is prevalent as per the approvals from Food and Drugs Authorities. Thus, besides fulfilling the yummy and crunchy snack craving, health-conscious and cardiometabolic individuals use these artificial sweeteners for weight loss along with diabetic patients for ‘sugar-free’ options as substitutes.

But the recent recommendation of the Cancer Research Organization of the World Health Organization (WHO), is disrupting this trend by declaring it as a ‘possible carcinogen for humans’. It will push a major blow to the global food & drug industry along with food regulators.

The evidence-based study by WHO reviews that there is no established correlation between the use of artificial sweeteners such as acesulfame, etc, and weight reduction or controlling body mass. These non-sugar sweeteners (NSS) have possible undesired impacts on human lives in the long term.  The study indicates that prolonged use increases the risk of type 2 diabetes as well as cardiovascular diseases among the world population. Due to this, the risk of premature deaths has increased among the adult population. 

The NSS has no nutritional value as part of the diet but have an essential place in common food palate since early childhood in terms of candies, sugary beverages, etc. Thus, replacing it with the natural sugar diets such as fruits and non-sugary beverages such as coconut water, in the food palate will help in adding nutrition for everyone and reducing the risk.

No doubt the long-term consequences of NSS have different outcomes based on baseline characteristics and subjective health conditions, establishing healthy eating and dietary habits is always recommended to reduce the load of non-communicable diseases for the global population. This recent WHO study is possibly going to change the revenue generation for manufacturing companies of such products along with a change in consumer preferences across the globe.