publicado em 01/07/2011 às 19h30:00
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Use of sweeteners is almost four times higher among elderly than among young

Prevalence in the general population was 19%. Among women, often exceeded 22% and is related to weight loss

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With the intention has been to assess how the use of sweeteners in the population, researchers at the Federal University of Pelotas, Rio Grande do Sul, consulted 2732 aged 20 years or more living in the urban area of ​​Pelotas. The prevalence of use of these products was 19%, and 3.7 times higher among elderly than among those with 20 to 29 years. The prevalence of dietary sweetener was more frequent in women (22.7%). According to scholars, this practice may be related to female weight reduction. Women are increasingly pressured to diet and eventually submit to strict dietary restrictions in order to achieve a socially imposed aesthetic standards, the researchers say.

Another factor that proved significant was the school: there was consumption approximately 30% higher among individuals 12 years or more study. This relationship can be explained by increased awareness that these individuals have about the importance of maintaining good health, given that diet and light foods, and dietary sweeteners, are seen by some as healthy products. In general, the feeding behavior of individuals in relation to consumption of such products can be explained by concern for the physical or aesthetic, more common in higher social levels, the researchers explain.

The data showed that, with regard to health conditions, about 10% of those interviewed said they were diabetic and 36.7% were hypertensive. People with both diseases had prevalence rates of use of sweetener approximately 3.5 and 2 times higher, respectively, than those without these diseases. In addition, just over 64% said they were overweight. On the use of sweeteners, 72.7% reported that consumption is daily. When asked who recommended the use of dietary sweetener, 54.3% of users reported not having received a recommendation from anyone. Among those who received it, the doctor was the most cited (76.4%), the researchers point out.

The survey indicated that 98% of users reported using sweetener in liquid form, with the highest consumption (90%) composed of the artificial sweeteners - saccharin and sodium cyclamate. With regard to the amount consumed in one portion, the average was six drops; for users powder, a sachet and a half. The reasons for the use of these products in liquid form may be related to the convenience and ease of use afforded, the researchers elucidate. As for the composition, sodium saccharin and sodium cyclamate were chosen because they are possibly the most ancient sweeteners, lower cost and to present the most publicized by the media.

Termed as food for special purposes by the Ministry of Health, dietary sweeteners were created in order to meet the needs of people with specific physiological and metabolic conditions such as obesity or diabetes. However, in the last two decades, these products became available to any consumer who wanted to enjoy a sweet taste without increasing energy consumption.


   Palavras-chave:   Sweeteners    Dietary    Pelotas    RS    Research    Federal University of Pelotas    Women    Elderly   
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