Sweeteners and Cancer Risk:

Unpicking the link

Duane Mellor, Dr Caroline Childs

Tuesday 12 July 20:00–21:00 BST

Season 3


Artificial sweeteners are widely available within the UK and are used in the food industry as an alternative to sugar, yet their effects on health are often questioned, including their impact on cancer risk. During this journal club, Duane Mellor will be exploring new research which investigated the link between specific sweeteners and risk of cancer – unpicking the link and translating this into practical messages.

Watch this webinar to

Gain clear understanding of:
  • How challenging it can be to assess dietary intake of specific artificial sweeteners
  • The limitations of epidemiological studies in assessing risk of disease
  • How to effectively communicate what studies like this do and do not say about what the public should be eating
Be aware of:
  • Which confounding factors may be influencing the reported results
  • Whether the effect reported can be attributed to the sweeteners as suggested or could it be something else
  • Principles of association and causality and the application of principles such as Bradford-Hill criteria
Be able to:
  • Explain the implications of this research to the public with respect to what to put in their tea or coffee
  • Communicate concept of risks and benefits based on nutrition research to the public
  • Explain the merits of a study as well as its limitations


Expert speaker

Duane Mellor
Registered Dietitian

Duane Mellor is a registered dietitian who is the Aston Medical School lead for Nutrition and Evidence Based Medicine. Having a background in clinical dietetics supporting people living with diabetes he moved into medical education when joining Aston University.


Paper reference

This session discusses the paper: Debras, Charlotte et al. “Artificial sweeteners and cancer risk: Results from the NutriNet-Santé population-based cohort study.” PLoS medicine vol. 19,3 e1003950. 24 Mar. 2022, doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1003950

About Journal Club Chair, Dr Caroline Childs

Each Journal Club session is chaired by Dr Caroline Childs, Nutrition and Metabolism subject lead in Medicine at the University of Southampton. She received student-nominated awards for ‘most engaging lecturer’ and ‘best pastoral support’ and a colleague-nominated award for teaching excellence. Dr Childs is a Nutrition Society Ambassador and a South East Regional Representative for the Association for Nutrition.

As she says, “Developing skills in critical appraisal is an essential part of being a competent nutrition professional – whether you’re a dietitian, nutritionist or health professional specialising in nutrition.”


Nutrition research reported in the media often highlights mixed or contradictory results between studies. So, as a nutrition professional, how can you ensure you use the strongest available evidence to inform your practice?

Once you have viewed a full recorded session the mynutriweb team will review and arrange to send you your certificate via email from hello@mynutriweb.com within two weeks of viewing the session.


This season has been CPD approved by the British Dietetic Association (BDA) and the Association for Nutrition (AfN).