You see, in this fast-paced digital world of news and the media competing for consumer attention, fear-raising “warning” stories make good news. And these kinds of studies make the rounds on newsfeeds and websites often before they are even verified or confirmed. For instance, even reputable health-care organizations sometimes get it wrong in their rush to want to be first. In the fall of 2012 esteemed and revered Brigham and Brigham’s Women’s Hospital Boston stood behind a study suggesting that artificial sweeteners like aspartame raise the risk of leukemia and lymphoma. This initial endorsement by such a prestigious establishment lent significant weight to the anti-sweetener propaganda machine. HOWEVER – merely a week later – the Brigham Institution backpedalled and recanted this endorsement stating that it had been “premature in promoting this evidence.” But of course it was too late as the internet and marketing forces had already latched on to the endorsement and the political agenda anti-sweetener machine had itself another round of ammunition – even if these bullets were blanks.“Of course you can find the odd study that raises an eyebrow. But this is often because of what is known as a “positive finding bias.” In other words, a study that shows or even hints at a link between sweeteners and ill-health – these studies get all the press. But what the public doesn’t realize is that these findings aren’t duplicated in other studies – and being able to duplicate findings is one of the cornerstones of real and true scientific research.”
When coaching clients present me with this line of reasoning I always reply to them, that nature is full of all kinds of plants that are poisonous to humans! Moreover, the argument that natural sources are better falls apart when you consider the following: Sugar cane is a natural plant. It has to go to the factory to be processed into table sugar. Maple syrup, is very natural coming from the sap of the maple tree. It too must usually go to the factory to be processed into maple syrup to be found on grocery store shelves. But these are still “sugars” that most people try to avoid, for good reason I might add. So then “stevia” – still has to be harvested and also sent to the factory where it too must be “processed” in order to be available on store shelves. It is not much different as a processed food condiment than is any other prepared artificial sweetener out there. To think so just feeds some prideful “I’m healthier than you” type of thinking, which just isn’t true. And in terms of researching stevia itself – after looking into it, I’ll stick to man-made sweeteners, thank you very much!
So, again I pose the question, “What is wrong with artificial sweeteners?” – and the real unbiased answer is “absolutely nothing!”