Do artificial sweetener cause weight gain? – Sugar and your children health.

Let us agree on this first.


We are aware of the negative effect of sugar on our health, but we often ignore the extent of the damage and a quick reminder is necessary from time to time. It is just the purpose of this review.

We are here to review the effect of sugary drinks on our health and mainly on the health of our children. We all know that all children love sugary drinks and any sweet in general, but we also know that they are very ignorant of the negative effect of sugar intake on their health.

Thirty percent of New Zealand children aged 5−14 years are considered overweight or obese, using the criteria of Cole et al., and these figures are broadly comparable to those of other Western nations. One of the major cause of obesity is due to the juices’ intake of these children. And when we are talking about juices’, we are not talking only about soda but also sports drinks, lemonade, sweetened iced tea, and any other juices’ that can lead to weight gain.

Sugary Drinks and the Nutrients intake in children

Many researchers have been concerned with the impact of beverage choice on the nutrients intake of children. One of the research is the Continuing Survey of Food Intakes by Individuals (CSFII) 1994−9628. Harnack et al. were the first to report showed reduced nutrient density in the diets of children drinking large amounts of soft drink. Others have reported that milk consumption was positively (p < 0.001) associated with the likelihood of achieving recommended intakes of vitamin A, folate, vitamin B12, and calcium, whereas juice consumers had good vitamin C and folate intakes (p < 0.01). The data of Bowman 37 would suggest that the undesirable impact of soda is not from the soda per se but the replacement of milk in the diet.

Sugary drink and the risk of childhood obesity

The table below establishes the link between sugary drink intake and weight gain in children.

The first author (reference) Study sample Dietary method Type of beverages investigated Confounders adjusted for Association between beverages and BMI
Studies reporting a positive relationship (p < 0.05)
Ludwig (1.1) 548 multi-ethnic boys & girls, mean age 11.7 years from 5 Boston schools followed for 19 months Food frequency questionnaire Sugar-sweetened drinks: soft drink, sweetened fruit drinks, iced tea Baseline BMI, age, sex, ethnicity, physical activity, TV, energy intake and

several dietary variables

Intake of sweet drinks at baseline and increase in intake over 19 months were both associated with higher BMI values at study end even after

adjusting for physical activity, diet, energy intake, and initial BMI.

Berkey (1.2) >10,000 boys & girls aged 9-14 years, offspring of Nurses Health Study II

participants followed for 2 years

Food frequency questionnaire Sugar-added beverages: soda, sweetened iced tea, known- carbonated fruit drinks Baseline BMI, age, ethnicity, physical activity, change in height, puberty and milk type In boys only, intake of sugar-added beverages and diet soft drinks were associated with changes in BMI over the same year. Only diet soft drinks remained significantly associated with BMI once adjusted for energy intake.
Phillips (1.3) 192 girls, aged 8-12 years, from public schools & summer camps, followed until 4

years after menarche

Food frequency questionnaire Soft drinks Age at menarche, parental overweight, and fruit, and vegetable intake Girls with the lowest soft-drink intake (lowest 25%) had significantly lower BMI values than girls with higher intakes of soft drinks, even after adjusting for physical activity and diet.
Welsh (1.4) 10,904 boys & girls aged 2-3 years from low- income Missouri families enrolled in public health

nutrition program followed for 1 year

Food frequency questionnaire Sugar-sweetened and naturally sweet drinks: fruit juice, fruit drinks, soft drinks Age, sex, ethnicity, birth weight, energy intake, and several dietary variables Only overweight children who drank at least 1 serving of soft drink, fruit juice/drink per day had twice the risk of overweight at follow-up compared with those who drank < 1 serve per day.

Cohort studies investigating the association between regular intake of sugary drinks and obesity in children.

  1. 1 Ludwig DS, Peterson KE, Gortmaker SL. The relation between consumption of sugar-sweetened drinks and childhood obesity: a prospective observational analysis. Lancet 2001;357:505-508.
  2. 2. Berkey CS, Rockett HR, Field AE, Gillman MW, Colditz GA. Sugar-added beverages and adolescent weight change. Obes Res 2004;12:778-788.
  3. 3. Phillips SM, Bandini LG, Naumova EN, Cyr H, Colclough S, Dietz WH, et al… Energy-dense snack food intake in adolescence: longitudinal relationship to weight and fatness. Obes Res 2004;12:461-472.
  4. 4. Welsh JA, Cogswell ME, Rogers S, Rockett H, Mei Z, Grummer-Strawn LM. Overweight among low-income preschool children associated with the consumption of sweet drinks: Missouri, 1999-2002. Pediatrics 2005;115:e223- e229.

From the study above, it was observed that each additional beverage serve increased the incidence of obesity by 60% (p = 0.02) after adjustment for age, sex, ethnicity, television viewing, physical activity, and energy intake. It is therefore clear, from this evidence base, that sugary drink is prohibitive for the health of our children because it places them at a very high risk of obesity.

A parallel study randomly assigned 641 mostly normal-weight Dutch children who usually drank sugary beverages to get a daily 8 oz. drink sweetened with either sugar (104 calories) or artificial sweeteners (0 calories) at school each day. Neither the children nor the investigators knew who got which drinks.

“The question was whether the children who got zero calories would sense the difference and compensate by eating more calories from some other source,” says Katan. “Would those kids come home and say, ‘Mom, I’m hungry. I want a snack,’ or would they just have their usual lunch and dinner?”

The result: After 1½ years, the average child who got the sugary drinks had gained roughly two pounds more than the average child who got the sugar-free drinks. And the chubbier kids gained about three pounds more if they got their usual sugary drinks.

What role might diet beverages play?

An alternative to sugary drinks could be low-calories beverages. This has been the object of many studies. Most people think that the total carbonated beverage could be as low as 4%. That is why it has been advocated in the US that, schools should “preferentially vend drinks that are sugar-free or low in sugar to lessen the risk of overweight”

Overall, more attention needs to be paid to how much (if any) diet beverages should be recommended to children and adolescents. The strongest predictor of soft drink consumption in children is taste. You can replace the sugary drink with a diet drink with an equally great taste that will help your child to control his weight. You might want to learn more about the subject of sugary drinks and childhood obesity.  Obesity in childhood and Adolescence, 2nd Edition( 2 volumes), Hardcover-November 9, 2018. It is available at Amazon at the cost of $164.43. This updated edition of the groundbreaking first edition identifies changes in U.S. children and adolescents’ obesity levels within the past decade, examining factors contributing to obesity in this younger generation as well as possible solutions.

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Some diet beverage that could replace sugary drink in children diet include:

1. Vegan Pure Keto Protein Powder, Sugar-Free, Gluten-Free, Very Low Carb, Medium Chain Triglyceride, Plant-Based Protein.

These are some associated characteristic of the beverage:

  • 10 grams of MCTs – Contains 65% C8 Caprylic Acid. Does not contain sugars or fillers such as maltodextrin or corn starch which will take you out of Ketosis
  • Each serving contains 75% of calories from GOOD FATS, 20% of calories from PLANT-BASED PROTEIN, Less than 5% of calories from NET CARBS. The perfect macronutrient profile to trigger Ketosis!
  • Very Low Net Carbs – Each Serving contains less than 1 gram of Net Carbs
  • Delicious and Creamy – Our best tasting plant-based protein will keep you satiated and energized. Great pre-workout supplement to enhance physical performance and boost mental alertness while suppressing hunger.
  • Sugar-Free, Gluten-Free, Dairy & Gluten Free, Less than 1 Gram of Net Carbs

The cost of this beverage is $ and is available on Amazon.

2. Guru organic energy

This is another healthy and natural beverage for both children and adults. the feature of this beverage include:

  • GURU is a great-tasting organic energy drink that provides natural energy without the jitters
  • Crafted with natural and organic ingredients, GURU is certified Organic, Vegan, Non-GMO and Gluten-Free
  • Contains 100 mg of naturally occurring caffeine from green tea and guarana per can
  • No preservatives, no taurine, no artificial caffeine, no artificial flavors or sweeteners


Most studies establish a relationship between sugary drinks and obesity. It is therefore advisable to limit the input of high-calorie drinks in our children’s diet. The use of low-calorie diet beverages could be a good alternative. It may be that fruit juice is less obesogenic than other beverages with added sugars, although some caution should still be applied. The recent advent of flavored waters has provided a lower sugar (and calorie) alternative in the marketplace.

Consumption of plain milk and water can lower the effect of sugary drinks. Our children should be encouraged to take plain milk regularly (34% consumed plain milk at least once a week) to the extent that this replaces the taste of juice in their preferences. Heightened promotion of the benefits of milk (particularly low-fat milk for those over two years of age) and water, and the potential adverse effects of beverages high in sugar is required.

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