I’m keynoting the workship on Food, Ethics, Politics at 4:00 with a reception to follow. My talk, “”Food, Ethics, Politics: The View from 2022,” will be in the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment, Maeder Hall, Room 002. This event is part of the University Center for Human Values (UCHV) Conferences, Workshops & Special Events. To register to attend, click here.
Industry-funded study of the week: Stevia
Stevia Beverage Consumption prior to Lunch Reduces Appetite and Total Energy Intake without Affecting Glycemia or Attentional Bias to Food Cues: A Double-Blind Randomized Controlled Trial in Healthy Adults. Nikoleta S Stamataki, The Journal of Nutrition, Volume 150, Issue 5, May 2020, Pages 1126–1134.
Method: This randomized, controlled, double-blind crossover study gave 20 healthy participants water or beverages with various sweeteners before lunch. The investigators measured how much participants ate after consuming each drink.
Conclusion: “This study found a beneficial and specific effect of a stevia beverage consumed prior to a meal on appetite and energy intake in healthy adults.”
Conflict of interest statement: “This study was supported by funding from the UK’s Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) through a BBSRC Case Studentship awarded to NSS. Cargill prepared and provided the test products free of charge. Author disclosures: DB and CS were employed by Cargill during the preparation of this manuscript, and Cargill produces stevia. The other authors report no conflicts of interest.”
Comment: The artificial sweetener Stevia is manufactured by Cargill. Two of the authors work for Cargill. Cargill has a vested interest in demonstrating that consumption of Stevia helps people lose weight. Whether artificial sweeteners help with weight loss is a question much debated. Industry-funded studies like his one tend to find benefits. Some independently funded studies do too but others do not.
My guess: artificial sweeteners might help some people, but their overall benefits, if any, are small.
My take: one of my food rules is not to eat anything artificial, so Stevia is off my dietary radar from the get-go.