I am concerned about serving my kids beverages flavored with artificial sweeteners. I realize that low calorie drinks are a helpful way to prevent childhood obesity, but are they safe?

The American Dietetic Association stresses that both nutritive (fructose, sucrose) and non-nutritive (aspartame, sucralose) sweeteners may be safely enjoyed as part of a balanced diet based on the USDA dietary guidelines. The current acceptable daily intake per the USDA is 50 mg/kg of body weight (22 cans of diet soda for a 175-pound male or 15 cans for a 120-pound female).

Moderate consumption of artificial sweeteners can be part of a healthy diet. Use in conjunction with naturally sweet foods such as fruits and couple intake of artificially sweetened diet sodas and juices with plenty of water.

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