Low-calorie sweetener use in kids jumps 200%, study finds

Story highlights

Americans are sweet on sweeteners, a new study suggests

Low-calorie sweetener consumption triples among kids, up 54% among adults

Experts butt heads over how such sweeteners may influence weight loss

CNN  — 

Americans are scarfing down more and more low-calorie sweeteners, and researchers are raising some concerns.

The consumption of low-calorie sweeteners jumped a whopping 200% among children and 54% among adults from 1999 to 2012, according to a study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics on Tuesday.

“We were somewhat surprised,” said Allison Sylvetsky, assistant professor at the Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University, who was lead author of the study.

“While we anticipated an increase, the magnitude of the increase was much larger than we had anticipated, particularly in kids,” she said. “It is not surprising that low-calorie sweetener consumption continues to increase, though. … There has been a lot of pressure put on the food and beverage industry to reformulate, which has led to more lower-sugar, low-calorie sweetener contain