Controversy of Sugar Substitutes

Cayla Flood

Article Summary

The article I chose is called "How Safe is the Newest 'Natural' Substitute?". It was located on Yahoo! News taken from a Rodale Organic Life Magazine and published on September 16, 2015. The news article was written by Jean Nick. The newest artificial sweeteners that will soon be available for table top use but most recently is just in manufactured foods, It is called allulose. Although, there is a plenty of controversy around artificial sweeteners, many are turning to them to lose weight or just make the healthier choice. But is it really the healthier choice? This article is explaining a new 90% fewer calorie artificial sweetener but also looking it whether creating a sugar-less diet is the way to go. Allulose, a dietary fiber converted from corn fructose, is also supposed to be a low calorie with very similar texture to regular table top sugar. As stated in the article "Still, it’s debatable whether sweetness without calories is a good idea at all. Eating and drinking sweet-tasting things without calories can trick the brain, leading to a craving of more sweets and overall increased food intake" (Nick).

Current Artificial Sweeteners Found in Stores

Article Critique

Jean Nick, the author of the new article I chose, does look at both sides of the controversy, giving the audience the view of whether artificial sweeteners are acceptable for the body and by giving a new 90% fewer calorie artificial sweetener that will be available in the future. Although, the article was written in Rodale's Organic Life, it was then shared on Yahoo News this week. Jean Nick is a writer for Rodale's Organic Life, she is only required to submit her work to the magazine who determine whether the article exceeds their expectations. The article does use many quotes from credible sources such as, "The Food And Drug Administration, in 2012, granted allulose GRAS status, meaning it’s “generally recognized as safe” and can be used in a wide range of products. But as of mid-2015 it had yet to be approved for use in the European Union" (Nick). Also looking at the controversy from another point of view stating, "According to The Harvard School of Public Health, “The health benefits of artificial sweeteners are inconclusive, with research showing mixed findings” at best. Some studies have even shown that habitual consumption of no-calorie sweets may lead to the very weight gain they are marketed to help prevent" (Nick). I would say that the article was well-written and looks at many different aspects and views, which makes for a well-rounded article, but the article does not give a definite solution or conclusion. Some may agree that the conclusion is misleading because the article is leaving it up to the reader's discretion. The news article does not give scientific evidence besides stating that there are studies that have been done, but readers may educate themselves by referring to the FDA about studies that have been done on the new artificial sweetener, alulose.

How Does This Pertain to Nursing?

In nursing, nurses are in constant bedside contact with their patients and although do not have full control over what the patient in consuming, they are first in line for education about diets. It should first start with education. From experience working in a hospital, patients come in with no meal restriction and will drink many soft drinks in one day. Creating other healthier alternatives would help with keeping patients sugar intake down. The nurse is able to educate them about how much sugar the patient may be putting into their body. Recently, the added sugars have become an upward trend. Society is more worried about the taste, rather the unhealthy amount of added sugars they are putting into their body. Looking at both sides of the controversy of artificial sweeteners with education and knowledge, will help one make a better decision when it comes to their health and wellness whether one is trying to lose weight or go with the trend.