Life can be just a little sweeter when you choose foods and beverages sweetened with zero-calorie, plant-based stevia for your family. Stevia has been used as a natural origin sweetener in foods and beverages for hundreds of years in South America, and as a sweetening extract it has been approved for use in Japan for nearly four decades. In addition to that long history of use, stevia leaf extract has been tested in more than 200 studies and has been deemed safe by many of the major regulatory agencies around the world, meeting the criteria required for an ingredient to be use in foods and beverages.
Stevia Is Safe For The Whole Family
Multiple global regulatory organizations, including the World Health Organization, have given stevia their safety stamp of approval. You will find stevia in foods and beverages worldwide in more than 60 countries and counting, including the United States, Canada, Japan, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Spain, Russia, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Columbia and many more.
Children, women who are pregnant and people with diabetes may wonder about using stevia as part of their daily diet. Rest assured. Experts agree that stevia is safe for everyone and brings many benefits to the table:
- Stevia is naturally sourced from the stevia plant.
- Stevia is zero calorie so it allows for the enjoyment of sweet tastes without unwanted calories.
- Stevia has no effect on blood sugar or insulin levels.
- Stevia is tooth friendly.
- Stevia is suitable for the whole family, no matter the age or life stage.
A Special Note to Parents
If you are a parent trying to keep tabs on the amount of sweet calories in your child’s diet, stevia can help you manage the family eating plan.
Children, like adults, often eat and drink more calories than recommended. In 2010, the World Health Organization estimated that over 42 million children under the age of five were overweight.2 And while no one factor is to blame – genetics, diet, physical activity habits, environmental cues and more all matter – incorporating stevia-containing products into the diet can help reduce calorie intake.3 Plus, children and adolescents who are overweight are more likely to become obese adults. They may also develop symptoms of diabetes and/or high blood pressure at a very young age if weight gain goes unchecked.3-5
Stevia alone cannot solve weight management challenges. But stevia is one tool in the toolbox of better health. You can cut unwanted calories by choosing packaged foods and beverages that contain stevia, or in your own kitchen, you can use it to replace or reduce other kinds of caloric sweeteners in your family’s favorite recipes.
To learn more in-depth information about stevia science and safety, visit our health professionals section.
- Ervin RB, Kit BK, Carroll MD, Ogden CL. Consumption of added sugar among U.S. children and adolescents, 2005–2008. NCHS data brief no 87. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2012.
- World Health Organization. Childhood overweight and obesity. http://www.who.int/dietphysicalactivity/childhood/en/, accessed online October 14, 2014.
- Fisberg M, Baur L, et al. Obesity in children and adolescents: Working Group report of the second World Congress of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr 2004; 39 (Suppl 2):S678-S687 ). http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov Accessed May 4, 2012
- Lonstein T, Baur L, et al Obesity in children and young people: a crisis in public health. Obesity Reviews Volume: 5 Suppl 1, Issue 1, 2004. http://www.mendeley.com. Accessed May 4 2012
- Obesity the Global Epidemic, International Obesity Taskforce, http://www.iaso.org Accessed on May 4, 2012