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The skinny on artificial sweeteners and weight gain Presented by Ann Cohen and Jessica Kovarik.

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Presentation on theme: "The skinny on artificial sweeteners and weight gain Presented by Ann Cohen and Jessica Kovarik."— Presentation transcript:

1 The skinny on artificial sweeteners and weight gain Presented by Ann Cohen and Jessica Kovarik

2 Taste: how  Groups of taste cells on papillae (bumps)  Chemical binds with taste cell Depolarization of nerve fibers  action potential to brain Adaptation of nerve transmittion

3 Taste: what and why  5 tastes: salty, sour, bitter, umami, and sweet No longer taste ‘zones’  Taste and survival Avoid bitter Seek out sweet

4 Sweetness abounds  Sugar = Carbohydrates Simple and complex  Main source of energy (4 calories per gram)  Occur naturally in foods and added to foods  Simple sugars: Sucrose = glucose + fructose  Table sugar Lactose = glucose + galactose  Dairy Maltose = glucose + glucose  Germinating grains

5 Sweetness abounds  Other natural sweeteners: Honey, molasses, maple syrup, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup Sugar alcohols or polyols, such as mannitol, sorbitol, isomalt

6 Sweet energy  Nutritive sweeteners Contain calories Honey, HFCS, table sugar, maple syrup, etc.  Nonnutritive sweeteners Reduced or no calories Sugar alcohols and artificial sweeteners

7 Getting 1+1=1: artificial sweeteners  Low-calorie sweeteners Sweet taste with fewer or no calories Food and Drug Administration approval  Six intense, low-calorie sweeteners: Saccharin – Sweet’N Low/Sugar Twin Acesulfame potassium (Ace-K) Aspartame Neotame Sucralose - Splenda Tagatose

8 Getting 1+1=1: artificial sweeteners  Sucralose aka Splenda Heat stable = use for baking 3 chlorine atoms instead of hydroxyl groups 600 times sweeter than sugar Created from sugar, so tastes similar to sugar  Body not able to break it down

9 Getting 1+1=1: artificial sweeteners  Stevia Natural sweetener extracted from plants Not FDA approved, so sold as a supplement Body cannot metabolize, so no calories Studies inconclusive about safety: some show no adverse reactions, others suggest smaller offspring

10 Rumor has it sugar causes…  Cavities Contact time of bacteria, not type of food leads to decay i.e.: bread can be worse than caramel  Hyperactivity No scientific research to support Is it the sugar or the environment? May have a calming affect

11 Rumor has it sugar causes…  Diabetes Important to monitor to control diabetes  Obesity Energy imbalance leads to weight gain

12 High fructose corn syrup  What is it? Corn starch converted to glucose Glucose isomerized by enzymes to 42% or 55% fructose Named ‘high fructose’ to distinguish from glucose corn syrup Sweet taste, low cost, easy to use resulting in wide use  Soft drinks, fruit drinks, baked goods, processed foods, dairy products

13 High fructose corn syrup  Media claims HFCS causes obesity Increase in obesity coincides with increased HFCS use  i.e.: added to soft drinks in early 1980s  But obesity also problematic in countries where HFCS use is not as prevalent

14 High fructose corn syrup  Media claims HFCS causes obesity Fructose converts to fat easier than glucose  Absorbed at different site by different mechanism  Any fructose metabolized same  HFCS vs. sucrose  Fructose metabolized differently than glucose once in the cell

15 Fructose verses glucose  Insulin Glucose causes insulin to be released Fructose does not stimulate insulin release  Satiety Glucose used by the brain and helps sense satiety

16 Fructose verses glucose  Leptin Increased by insulin release Increased leptin  decreased food intake  Controls appetite Glucose  insulin release  increased leptin  decreased food intake

17 High fructose corn syrup verdict  No evidence to support HFCS contributes significantly to obesity  Energy imbalance leads to obesity

18 Sweeteners and obesity  Artificial sweeteners may cause disruption in body’s ability to gauge caloric density  Body appears to gauge calories based on thickness Semi-solid and liquid foods/beverages inhibit body’s ability to accurately compensate

19 Sweeteners and obesity  Obesity has continued to rise as use of artificial sweeteners has risen  Multi-factorial problem Energy balance: energy in and energy out Sugar = calories  Excess calories (and inactivity) = weight gain  Weight balance = energy out vs. energy in

20 Laboratory ideas  Tooth Decay Explores the effect of various liquids on decaying teeth  Sugar composition of beverages Determine the sugar content of various beverages  All the same type: such as juice or soft drinks  Compare different types: such as milk, juice, soft drinks, water, etc.  Experiments with soft drinks Experiments with soft drinks

21 Resources for teachers  06/member_high.htm 06/member_high.htm  decay.html decay.html  

22 References  Physiology of taste. Accessed June 12, 2006 from  Schorin MD. (2005). High fructose corn syrups, part 1. Nutrition Today, 40(6), 248-252.  Hein GL, Lineback DR, Storey ML, & White JS. (2005). Highs and lows of high fructose corn syrup. Nutrition Today, 40(6), 253-256.  Science fair projects on tooth decay. Accessed June 12, 2006 from  Juices. Accessed May 31, 2006, from  Which beverage contains the most sugar? Accessed May 31, 2006, from  Duyff RL. (2002). Complete food and nutrition guide. 2 nd ed. Hoboken, New Jersey: Wiley.  Physiology of taste. Accessed June 13, 2006, from  Study: artificial sweeteners may disrupt body’s ability to count calories. (2004). Purdue News. Accessed June 13, 2006, from

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