Clinical Edge

Summaries of Must-Read Clinical Literature, Guidelines, and FDA Actions

Low-Calorie Sweetened Beverages & Cardiometabolic Health

Circulation; ePub 2018 Jul 30; Johnson, et al

Self-reported consumption of both sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) and low-calorie sweetened beverages (LCS) beverages had been declining in the US; however, the use of alternatives to SSBs, with a focus on water, should be encouraged. This according to a new science advisory from the American Heart Association (AHA) that reviews evidence from observational studies and clinical trials assessing the cardiometabolic outcomes of LCS beverages. Among the AHA conclusions and recommendations:

  • The use of LCS beverages may be an effective strategy to help control energy intake and promote weight loss.
  • However, there is evidence on the potential adverse effects of LCS beverages relative to potential benefits.
  • Therefore, it is prudent to advise against prolonged consumption of LCS beverages by children.
  • In adults, LCS beverages may be a useful replacement strategy to reduce intake of SSBs.
  • The use of other alternatives to SSBs, with a focus on water (plain, carbonated, and unsweetened flavored), should be encouraged.


Johnson RK, Lichtenstein AH, Anderson CAM, et al. Low-calorie sweetened beverages and cardiometabolic health. A science advisory from the American Heart Association. [Published online ahead of print July 30, 2018]. Circulation. doi:10.1161/CIR.0000000000000569.