Introduction Artificial sweeteners are alternatives to sugar. They are often used by diabetics and people who are allergic to sugar. Some of the most popular artificial sweeteners include aspartame, sucralose, saccharin, and xylitol. Some people state that artificial sweeteners can cause more harm than real sugar.
Constructive Debater 1 Henry According to the American Journal of Industrial Medicine, aspartame has carcinogenic effects. Aspartame is a very common artificial sweetener. It can be found in many diet sodas. Plus, according to a study in Environmental Health Perspectives, high amounts of aspartame can increase the risk of leukemia and lymphoma in rats. Worse, a study in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, which involved 125,000 people, found that it can have the same effect on humans! Lastly, saccharin, another artificial sweetener, can cause bladder cancer in rats.
Constructive Debater 2 Ashley Artificial sweeteners have a bad reputation, but they actually come with many benefits. Many recent studies, including those found in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, state that it is a misconception that artificial sweeteners increase hunger or calorie intake. In fact, they discovered that many people feel less hungry and eat less when they replace sugary foods and drinks with ones that are flavored with artificial sweeteners. People who consume artificial sweeteners show a weight loss of up to 1.3 kg in as little as four weeks.
Rebuttal Debater 1 Henry Most artificial sweeteners are detrimental to your health. According to a study from Purdue University, artificial sweeteners cause side-effects like migraines and weight gain, and they can even lead to serious conditions like cardiovascular disease. In addition, Holly Strawbridge, a former editor at Harvard Health, says that artificial sweeteners can lead to sugar addiction. Unlike actual sugar, artificial sweeteners don’t provide a sense of satisfaction. This makes people want to find comfort in sweet foods, eventually resulting in obesity, diabetes, and other health problems.
Rebuttal Debater 2 Ashley Many people believe that artificial sweeteners can cause cancer. However, this simply is not the case. Many studies regarding the possible carcinogenic effects of artificial sweeteners were done in the past with mice, not humans. After newer studies were done, saccharin was removed from the U.S. government’s list of carcinogens. Furthermore, because brain cancer became more common from 1975 to 1992, a lot of people started putting the blame on aspartame. However, aspartame was approved for consumption in 1981! Aspartame does not cause brain cancer.
Judge’s Comments Whose argument was stronger? Although there are conflicting studies about artificial sweeteners, most nutritionists say that they can cause issues with digestion. Some people are also more sensitive to artificial sweeteners, so it depends on your body’s response.
Chris Hong Copy Editor
1. According to Henry, what is aspartame commonly found in?
2. According to Ashley, what is a benefit of artificial sweeteners?
3. According to Holly Strawbridge, why can artificial sweeteners lead to sugar addiction?
1. Whose argument do you agree with, and why?
2. What was weak about Henry's argument, and how could he improve it?
3. What was weak about Ashley's argument, and how could she improve it?
4. Do you use artificial sweeteners?