Consumers Don’t Eat More Due to Low-Calorie Sweeteners

September 1, 2010

Anton SD et al., “Effects of stevia, aspartame, and sucrose on food intake, satiety, and postprandial glucose and insulin levels,”

Anton SD et al., “Effects of stevia, aspartame, and sucrose on food intake, satiety, and postprandial glucose and insulin levels,” Appetite, vol. 55, no. 1 (August 2010): 37-43.

People consuming fewer calories from low-caloric sweeteners do not overcompensate by eating additional calories, according to a new study published in the August issue of Appetite.

The study included 19 healthy, lean subjects (BMI ranging from 20.0 to 24.9) and 12 obese subjects (BMI ranging from 30.0 to 39.9), all between the ages of 18 to 50. Over three days, subjects consumed servings of stevia (290 kcal), aspartame (290 kcal), and sucrose (493 kcal), each on a separate day, once before lunch and once before dinner. Hunger and satiety levels were reported before and after the meals, and every hour throughout the afternoon.

The researchers found that despite the fewer calories provided by stevia and aspartame versus sucrose, subjects did not overcompensate by consuming additional calories at lunch and dinner. In addition, subjects reported similar levels of satiety between the three sweeteners.

The study also measured each sweetener’s effect on postprandial glucose and insulin levels. (Subjects provided blood samples immediately before and 20 minutes after lunch.) Researchers found that stevia significantly reduced postprandial glucose levels compared to sucrose (p<0.01). Aspartame also significantly reduced postprandial insulin levels compared to sucrose (p<0.05).