If you follow the news chances are you’ve heard about a new study claiming low-calorie sweeteners are linked to dementia and stroke. The flashy headlines probably grabbed your attention, but Fortune health writer Sy Mukherjee cautions, “Don’t believe the hype.”
Mukherjee says that while the study made for plenty of sensational headlines, the stories don’t reflect the true findings of the study. “They don’t outline some of its most crucial and relevant caveats until way past the headline,” says Mukherjee, pointing out that “the titles would be pretty boring” if they had been more realistic.
What the headlines don’t say is that the authors of the study acknowledge that their research in no way shows that low-calorie sweeteners lead to stroke and dementia. The study is an “observational study,” and observational studies cannot distinguish whether one food or beverage causes a disease. Any “link” discussed in such studies is speculative only.
The fact is low-calorie sweeteners have been vigorously studied and have been deemed safe by government safety authorities time and time again, including the FDA. So next time you see something in the media about non-alcoholic beverages and their ingredients, take a moment to check out letsclearitup.org, where we clear up misinformation with science-based facts.