Yes. Studies have shown that foods and beverages sweetened with aspartame can be an effective “tool” as part of a weight management program. Aspartame, however, is not a drug and does not stimulate weight loss. It does help make possible good tasting low- or reduced-calorie foods and beverages for those who wish to control or decrease their caloric intake. Researchers at Harvard Medical School have concluded that aspartame “is a valuable adjunct to a comprehensive program of balanced diet, exercise and behavior modifications for losing weight."
Upon digestion, aspartame breaks down into three components (aspartic acid, phenylalanine and methanol), which are then absorbed into the blood and used in normal body processes. Neither aspartame nor its components accumulate in the body. These components are used in the body in the same ways as when they are derived from common foods. Further, the amounts of these components from aspartame are small compared to the amounts from other food sources. For example, a serving of nonfat milk provides about 6 times more phenylalanine and 13 times more aspartic acid compared to an equivalent amount of diet beverage sweetened 100% with aspartame. Likewise, a serving of tomato juice provides about 6 times more methanol compared to an equivalent amount of diet beverage with aspartame.
Health experts agree that eating well and being physically active are keys to a healthful lifestyle. To help people achieve a more healthful lifestyle, the U.S. government provides “Dietary Guidelines for Americans,” which encourages consumers to “Choose and prepare foods and beverages with little added sugars or caloric sweeteners.” The World Health Organization also recommends a number of dietary guidelines to combat increases in chronic diseases such as obesity, high blood pressure, cancer, and diabetes. One recommendation is to limit sugars added to some foods and beverages. As a sweetener, aspartame can reduce or replace the calories in foods and beverages while maintaining great taste, offering one simple step to help people move closer to achieving a more healthful diet. Simply substituting a can of diet soft drink for a regular soft drink saves about 150 calories; substituting a packet of low-calorie tabletop sweetener for two teaspoons of sugar three times daily (e.g., in coffee and tea and on cereal) saves about 100 calories a day; and 4-oz. of aspartame-sweetened pudding substituted for regular pudding saves 80 calories.