When it comes to science reporting in the media, it is easy for people to get confused by sensationalized headlines that do not tell the full story. Recently, a study has made news claiming consuming low- and no-calorie sweeteners while pregnant may cause increased body mass index (BMI) in infants and could lead to a higher risk of childhood obesity.
If you look beyond the headlines, however, you will discover that the JAMA Pediatrics study does not prove drinking these beverages while pregnant in any way causes obesity in infancy or childhood. Even the authors themselves acknowledge this, stating, “study limitations that include the potential for error in self-reported dietary outcomes.”
In fact, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists deem the use of some low- and no-calorie sweeteners in beverages and foods as safe during pregnancy. Various organizations around the world including the World Health Organization, U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the European Food Safety Authority have repeatedly reaffirmed their safety, noting that they are not linked to adverse health outcomes.
So the next time you see a headline that makes you do a double take, take a deeper dive into the science before you take it at face value.
To learn more about the science behind low-calorie sweeteners check out LetsClearItUp.org.