‘Half of Australians’ believe artificial sweeteners are unhealthy

Research commissioned by Nexba has found that 54.6 per cent of surveyed Australians believe artificial sweeteners are bad for their health.

From a national representative sample of 1,002 adults aged 18-plus, the survey results “reinforce our mission to increase awareness about the risks of unnecessary sugar and artificial substitutes consumption”, Nexba co-founder Troy Douglas said. “We believe innovation is critical to providing consumers with great-tasting viable alternatives.”

The #NaturallySugarFree movement, started by Nexba, is aimed at educating Australians about sugar content and consumption.

According to the federal Department of Health, the average 375ml can of soft drink contains nine teaspoons of sugar. However, only three per cent of respondents from Nexba’s survey correctly stated this, with more than half guessing the proportion to be less than that supplied by the department.

“Based on the World Health Organisation and other international benchmarks, having just a single can of these soft drinks can use up or even exceed your daily sugar allowance alone,” Nexba co-founder Drew Bilbe said. “Long term, this can have detrimental effects on both the incidence of diabetes and obesity.”

The survey revealed that 60 per cent of respondents are consuming one or more cans of soft drink a day.

The results also showed that 28.2 per cent of those surveyed were either unconcerned about their own or their family’s sugar consumption, or did not think about the issue. Nexba says the answer to this lies in bringing ‘Naturally Sugar Free’ products into the limelight and encouraging education around them.

“While there’s been extensive discussion about extreme measures, such as a sugar tax, we believe a GST exemption on natural and no-sugar products could offer a more realistic solution and encourage greater ‘Naturally Sugar Free’ product innovation,” Mr Douglas said.

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