Changes in Non-Nutritive Sweetener Consumption Patterns in Response to a Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Reduction Intervention
Zoellner, Jamie M.
Davy, Brenda M.
Hedrick, Valisa E.
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Data are lacking on whether non-nutritive sweeteners (NNS) can be used as a strategy to support decreases in sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) consumption. The purpose of this secondary analysis of a 6-month SSB-reduction intervention was to explore changes in NNS consumption patterns in Talking Health participants within the SIPsmartER (n = 101) intervention. Additionally, participant characteristics were compared for three SSB-NNS change groups (decrease SSB/increase NNS; decrease SSB/no increase in NNS; increase/no change in SSB/regardless of NNS). There was a significant increase in aspartame and total NNS intake for participants (mean daily mg increases of 37.2 ± 13.9 and 63.7 ± 18.5, respectively). With the exception of sex, no differences in participant characteristics were found between the three SSB-NNS change groups. Furthermore, no significant changes in weight or body mass index (BMI) were demonstrated between SSB-NNS change groups over time. Diet soda was the most commonly consumed source of NNS; however, other dietary sources of NNS also contributed to intake. At 6 months, intake of sucralose and saccharin were primarily from dietary sources other than diet sodas (94% and 100%, respectively). These findings suggest that NNS may be a feasible strategy to help reduce SSB consumption. This study supports the need to consistently quantify and identify NNS intake, beyond using diet soda intake as a proxy for NNS intake and grouping all NNS types into one variable, to more accurately address the potential health effects of NNS.