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Headline

Pharmacies incentivised to cut back on sales of sugary drinks

Comment

We should all applaud this initiative, which might be compared to moves dating back to 1987 by the RPSGB (but not fully implemented until 2001; see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tobacco-Free_Pharmacies) that put a stop to sales of cigarettes from pharmacies. However, simply replacing sugary drinks with sugar-free drinks containing saccharin, sucralose, aspartame, etc may do more harm than good. I would urge all pharmacists (and indeed politicians in charge of health policy) to read the article by Suez et al. (2014) published in Nature entitled "Artificial sweeteners induce glucose intolerance by altering the gutmicrobiota" (1); and the article by Fowler et al. (2008) published in Obesity entitled "Fueling the obesity epidemic? Artificially sweetened beverage use and long-term weight gain" (2). There are other such articles and, yes, a couple of more recent articles (3,4) do seek to cast doubt on the idea that artificial sweeteners can cause gut dysbiosis that leads to glucose intolerance and obesity. However, both of these more recent studies appear to have received funding from the Calorie Control Council, which describes itself as "an international association representing the low- and reduced-calorie food and beverage industry" (5). Therefore, they are possibly tainted. I have no conflict of interest to declare. I am just a pharmacist who is wants to see the obesity and type 2 diabetes epidemic addressed at it source rather than symptomatically. 1. https://doi.org/10.1038/nature13793 2. https://doi.org/10.1038/oby.2008.284 3. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fct.2017.05.047 4. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fct.2018.12.005 5. https://caloriecontrol.org/about-the-council/

Posted date

25 JUL 2019

Posted time

18:24

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