It seems like most of America is on a diet or has ambitions to lose weight by calorie reduction at any given time. We are naturally attracted to labels that say “zero calories,” “low calories,” or “no sugar added.” We are naturally interested in products that give us fast and easy results. Marketers often capitalize on our desire to lose excess weight by promoting the sale of “diet” foods and drinks that are often filled with artificial sweeteners.
Think about it. We’re bombarded with messages like: “lose weight and calories while still satisfying your sweet tooth.” We hear phrases like “empty pleasures” or “cheat on your sugar” to grab the attention of anyone hoping to lose a few pounds. The market has convinced millions of people to purchase artificially sweetened products, whether they’re already in the products we choose, or something we can easily add to our favorite foods and drinks. Just go to a coffee shop, restaurant or supermarket and you’ll find artificial sweeteners at the counters or on the shelves. They’re everywhere. Artificial sweeteners are so widely used that it’s estimated by year 2015, the market of artificial sweeteners will increase to 1.5 billion dollars (1).
All around us we have media, coffee shops, restaurant tables, peers, and even the FDA somehow declaring that these products are okay. Looking at the health effects of artificial sweeteners (read my blog series on artificial sweeteners beginning with this post), can we believe that this is a healthy and safe choice?
While my intention is to educate, enlighten and empower my readers, clients and more, once we’re empowered with information, we’re always left to make a decision and take responsibility for it. So for those of us who are aware of the dangers of artificial sweeteners and artificially sweetened products, which have been discovered through exhaustive research, data and studies, here are a few questions to consider:
Why do many of us continue with habits that we know are unhealthy? Why do so many of us continue to use products once we know the consequences that are likely to follow?
What’s the motivation? Are we driven by short-term goals vs. long-term goals? Are we driven by temporary gratification vs. a lasting lifestyle change? Are our habits so deeply engrained that we find it too challenging to make changes that will improve our health? Do we just like the taste and don’t want to think about the consequences?
There’s no right or wrong answer here and no judgment, just something to consider.
Of course, if you’re unaware or simply didn’t have the information or tools you needed to make healthier choices, I hope you’ll research the topic in order to find the answers you need to become more empowered. For those of us who are aware, the questions above are for you.
Media and society say artificial sweeteners are safe. Research and nutritionists, however, say they are dangerous and lead to many negative health consequences. How do YOU weigh the different commentaries about artificial sweeteners, and what choice will you make?
I’d love to know, comment and share!