Perspective: Standards for Research and Reporting on Low-Energy ("Artificial") Sweeteners

David J Mela, John McLaughlin, Peter J Rogers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)
84 Downloads (Pure)


Widely differing views exist among experts, policy makers, and the general public with regard to the potential risks and benefits of reduced- or low-energy sweeteners (LES) in the diet. These views are informed and influenced by different types of research in LES, with differing hypotheses, designs, interpretation, and communication. Given the high level of interest in LES, and the public health relevance of the research evidence base, it is important that all aspects of the research process are framed and reported in an appropriate and balanced manner. In this Perspective, we identify and give examples of a number of issues relating to research and reviews on LES, which may contribute toward apparent inconsistencies in the content and understanding of the totality of evidence. We conclude with a set of recommendations for authors, reviewers and journal editors, as general guidance to improve and better standardize the quality of LES research design, interpretation, and reporting. These focus on clarity of underlying hypotheses, characterization of exposures, and the placement and weighting of new research within the wider context of related prior work.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbernmz137
Number of pages8
JournalAdvances in Nutrition
Early online date10 Jan 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 10 Jan 2020

Structured keywords

  • Nutrition and Behaviour
  • Physical and Mental Health


  • energy
  • sweetness
  • guidance
  • communication
  • recommendations
  • diet
  • exposure
  • sweetening agents
  • public health medicine
  • evidence-based practice
  • reviewers


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