The sugarless fruit juices have been marketed by several companies in Australia, and are marketed to people who have severe sweet tooths.
However, people with these disorders often find the flavours unpleasant and unhealthy, and have been labelled “sugar junkies” by the industry.
But it is a bitter pill to swallow for some, who are suffering from severe sweet mouth syndrome, a medical term for the chronic consumption of sugar.
A survey commissioned by the Australian Beverage Association in 2016 found that around 40 per cent of people with sweet tooth syndrome do not want to drink fruit juice at all.
In order to understand what makes people with this condition not want it, researchers in the United Kingdom conducted an experiment.
They put people with a mild form of the condition, known as the “lifestyle variant”, through a series of cognitive tasks to see what affected their decision making.
The findings revealed that participants with the “sugary” taste in fruit, and people who were overweight or obese, did better at the cognitive task, but those with mild sweet taste in their fruit did not.
The researchers suggest this could be because people with the condition are more likely to experience symptoms of sugar addiction, and the brain pathways involved in controlling this are less developed.
Professor David MacKay, from the Department of Psychology at the University of Newcastle, told news.com.au the study’s results could have important implications for the industry’s efforts to combat the health threat of sugar consumption.
“There’s a lot of hype out there about how people with sugar addiction can improve their mental health.
I’m not saying that’s going to happen.
But there’s certainly some evidence that suggests it can improve behaviour,” he said.
“We have seen in the past that it does work, and we have a lot more evidence to support that than just a few years ago.”
“There are a lot people who are very sweet and who don’t have sugar sensitivity but who do have cognitive issues and who are having trouble with their eating habits and their behaviour.
In a lot, if not most, of these people, it’s the diet that’s the issue.”
MacKay also noted that people with milder sweet taste issues do not need a strict diet, as they may not need to restrict sugar consumption to limit the amount of calories they consume.
“We know from other studies that a lot can be achieved with a diet that is moderate in calories,” he explained.
“It’s not just about restricting the amount you consume, but also about reducing your intake of sugar and sweeteners and fats.”
Professor MacKay said people with cognitive problems could benefit from “some of the simple and simple solutions” that are available to them, such as regular exercise and regular exercise classes.
Dr Kate Gannon, from Sydney University, said the study demonstrated that a range of strategies could be put in place to support people with severe sweet teeth.
“[The findings] could help people who may be suffering from sweet tooth issues to be better able to manage their symptoms and help people with other disorders, including obesity, that are associated with the same kind of problems,” she said.
“And that may well mean we can see improvements in overall health.”
Topics:health,diseases-and-disorders,health-administration,diet-and/or-nutrition,mental-health,sugarcane-diet,food-and_drink-related,healthy-eating,healthy,people,sydney-2000,australia,nsw,aotearoaMore stories from New South Wales