Dr. Tauseef Khan is a Senior Research Associate at the Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Toronto. His primary research focus is to investigate the association between dietary sweeteners and the development of obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Dr. Khan's research interests are diverse and range from studying sugar-containing foods to low-calorie sweeteners and natural sweeteners like honey. His systematic reviews and meta-analyses of randomized trials and prospective cohort studies of low-calorie sweeteners, using rigorous methods, have significantly contributed to the development of the latest EASD guidelines on this topic.
The World Health Organization's (WHO) latest guideline on non-sugar sweeteners (NSS) use has raised concerns due to its emphasis on observational studies, rather than randomized trials. Despite trials showing NSS benefits in weight control, the guideline relied heavily on prospective cohort studies suggesting potential harm. This approach contradicts the GRADE framework, which gives precedence to randomized trials. Furthermore, the guideline overlooked recent, more rigorous analytical methodologies in prospective cohort studies that reduce bias and model NSS as a caloric substitute. Both trial results and these robustly analyzed cohort studies support NSS use for caloric reduction and weight loss. The WHO guideline's dismissal of this evidence necessitates a re-evaluation of its recommendation.