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880 How Safe Are Sweeteners? 11/10/2012

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Sugar substitutes are popular as a potential weight loss tool. But where is the evidence that they help people lose weight? Some rat research suggests they could be counterproductive. Other research throws the safety of aspartame into question. Top scientists explain their findings.

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880 How Safe Are Sweeteners?  11/10/2012

880 How Safe Are Sweeteners? 11/10/2012

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Product Description

Millions of people drink diet soda or consume artificial sweeteners in chewing gum, candy, yogurt, ice cream or even medications. We assume that such sugar substitutes will save us from the obesity epidemic. But do we know that is true?

Animal research suggests that artificial sweeteners, specifically aspartame, may not be benefiting us as much as we expect. Other research in both animals and humans raises the question of whether these sweeteners are as safe as we imagine. Find out what we know about artificial sweeteners and what we still need to learn.

Guests: Morando Soffritti, MD, is Scientific Director of the Ramazzini Institute in the Centro di Ricerca sul Cancro Cesare Maltoni in Bologna, Italy. The photo is of Dr. Soffritti. The website is

Walter Willett, MD, DrPH, is Chairman of the Department of Nutrition and Frederick John Stare Professor of Epidemiology and Nutrition at Harvard University's School of Public Health. His recent article appeared in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Susan Swithers, PhD, is Professor in the Department of Psychological Sciences at Purdue, and a member of the Ingestive Behavior Research Center. Her study on rats given nonnutritive sweeteners was published in Behavioral Neuroscience.

Hannah Gardener, ScD, is an epidemiologist at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.

The podcast of this program will be available the Monday after the broadcast date. The show can be streamed online from this site and podcasts can be downloaded for free for four weeks after the date of broadcast. After that time has passed, digital downloads are available for $2.99. CDs may be purchased at any time after broadcast for $9.99.

Additional Information

Air Date Nov 10, 2012

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