The Cincinnati Enquirer from Cincinnati, Ohio on September 15, 1991 · Page 397
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The Cincinnati Enquirer from Cincinnati, Ohio · Page 397

Cincinnati, Ohio
Issue Date:
Sunday, September 15, 1991
Page 397
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Page 397 article text (OCR)

r 1 YEAR OF "YES! f T AMERICAN iiljAiiI;ii'ii Send me a one-year (10 issues) subscription to AMERICAN HEALTH for only $9.97, a savings of $9.53 off the newsstand price. Payment enclosed Bill me FITNESS OF BODY AND MIND ONLY $97 Nome Address City AMERICAN HEALTH is a fascinating and Intelligent magazine that stands out in today's often-confusing flood of health information and mis-information. Comprehensive stories help you understand everything from how to get the best medical care to how to get the best out of your health insurance. Regular features on the latest medical advances, nutrition, fitness, dental care, and everything important to the health of your body and mind will keep you and your family In top form. Take advantage of this special offer. Save nearly half off the newsstand price when you subscribe to AMERICAN HEALTH. Stote Zip .111 ' . I Mail to: AMERICAN HEALTH, 1 P.O. Box 3015, Harlan, IA 51593-0106 j Subscriptions outside the U.S.: to Canada. $ 1 7.95. I All other countries. $20.95. Allow 6-8 weeks (or delivery of first issue. I : U SWEET A L K it, 1088 Roper Poll found 1j i ''.that more than half of American consumers sav has taken the country by storm since its approval in 1981. It's sold under the name Equal as a white granular sweetener, but it's more ubiquitous as NutraSweet in thousands of processed goods from colas to breath mints. Aspartame ranks after sugar as the country's most popular sweetener. Aspartame consists of aspartic acid and phenylalanine, two naturally occurring amino acids. It has the same number of calorics as sugar (four per gram), yet it's 180 times sweeter, so smaller amounts are needed to achieve the same effect. From all the evidence so far. the only people who should avoid aspartame are those with phenylketonuria (PKU), a metabolic defect that affects about one in 15,000 babies each year. Saccharin saccharin is the granddaddy of artificial sweeteners, used in the U.S. for almost 100 years. It comes from petroleum, is noncaloric and tastes 300 times sweeter than sugar. In 1977, after studies suggested that saccharin caused bladder tumors in rats, the FDA proposed a ban on most uses of the substance. But public outcry was fervent: The FDA received more than 100,000 letters protesting the ban. That November, Congress imposed an 18-month moratorium on the saccharin ban, which it has since renewed every few years. The law does require saccharin-containing products to carry a warning that the sweetener causes cancer in laboratory animals. Yet most experts agree that if saccharin is a human carcinogen, it's a weak one that poses litde health risk. Sucrose sugar requires no FDA approval. This most natural of sweeteners has served the human race since we first foraged for fruits and berries. Even so, sugar is hardly immune to criticism. It has been accused of causing everything from hyperactivity in children to heart disease. While sugar hasn't been implicated in any disease besides tooth decay, there nevertheless are legitimate reasons for cutting back. Sugar itself isn't high in calories (16 per teaspoon), but sugar-laden foods such as ice cream and cookies also tend to be high in fat, which contributes to obesity and heart disease. Health food stores tout fructose, or fruit sugar, as healthier than sucrose, which is refined from sugar cane and sugar beets, but it makes little difference to your body whether food contains fructose or sucrose. The bottom line? If we don't overdo it, most of us can consume sugar or any other sweetener without health problems. Just brush regularly to protect your teeth. Briauna Politzer our message," says vice president Dr. Edward Remmers. By law, no artificial sweetener can be marketed unless the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) first approves it. Three artificial sweeteners are now available: saccharin, aspartame and acesulfame-K. A fourth, cyclamate, was banned because of safety concerns but is now a candidate for reapproval. Acesulfame-K the latest artificial sweetener to gain FDA approval, acesulfame-K ("K" is the symbol for potassium) debuted in 1988 under the brand name Sunette. It was previously approved in 20 other countries. A substance 200 times sweeter than sugar, acesulfame-K leaves no aftertaste and passes through the body unchanged. Since it's not metabolized, it contributes no calories. The sweetener is sold in packets or tablets as a sugar substitute and is also used in chewing gum, dry beverage mixes, instant coffee and tea and gelatins. Aspartame PRAISED FOR ITS FLAVOR (very much like sugar) and its lack of an aftertaste (unlike saccharin), aspartame they are "very" or "somewhat" concerned about sugar; 31 expressed anxiety about aspartame (marketed as NutraSweet and Equal); and 32 said they were worried about saccharin (Sweet 'N Low is the most popular brand). Will sugar on your cereal or a can of diet soda sweeten the odds of an early demise? The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) takes an acerbic view of all sweeteners. The group recendy denounced as "misleading" the sugar industry's ad campaign promoting sugar as healthy. But as bad as sugar is, says CSPI, it's still better for you than artificial sweeteners unless you're diabetic and must use the substitutes. But the American Council on Science and Health (ACSH) considers all sweeteners safe as long as they're not consumed to excess. The group does recommend that children avoid frequent sugary snacks to prevent tooth decay, and it endorses lower sugar consumption for people on weight-loss diets. "Try to consume sweet things in moderation that's 8A September 13-15, 1991

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