8 July 2013
A natural sweetener called stevia could help end the obesity epidemic in the UK and across the globe. The sugar substitute, native to South America, is a calorie free alternative that’s actually 300 times sweeter than its counterpart. In addition, the naturally sourced substance does not pose the same health risks that sugar does. Healthcare research has linked excessive sugar consumption with common problems like obesity, diabetes, weight gain and heart attacks.
Having been approved by European Food Safety Agency in 2011, stevia sales have skyrocketed in the past few years. Food providers are in on the trend - a number of international companies have rolled out a range of healthy options, cutting sugar in favour of its guilt-free alternative. Coca-Cola recently introduced Sprite made with stevia into the UK market.
Member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Global Stevia Institute, Dr Margaret Ashwell, said the new product affords tremendous opportunities for the food industry to tackle the obesity epidemic. She praised the benefits of the natural sweetener, saying: “Stevia can help people enjoy natural-origin sweetness while reducing calories as part of a healthful, balanced diet.”
Posted by Jeanette Royston
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