Table 1

Characteristics of included evidence assessment units (n=51*)

n (%)
Author’s conclusion
 Decrease BW/more beneficial11 (22)
 Neutral (no directional effect or association)7 (14)
 Increase BW/less beneficial7 (14)
 No conclusion directly relevant to the LES–BW relationship0
 Evidence is insufficient to draw a conclusion26 (51)
 Unable to draw a conclusion from the paper0
Statistical significance†
 Decrease BW/more beneficial2 (4)
 Neutral (no directional effect or association)3 (6)
 Increase BW/less beneficial3 (6)
 No conclusion directly relevant to the LES–BW relationship0
 Evidence is insufficient to draw a conclusion0
 Unable to draw a conclusion from the paper2 (4)
 Missing data1 (2)
 Narrative review26 (51)
 Systematic review with meta-analysis11 (22)
 Systematic review without meta-analysis14 (27)
 Adults6 (12)
 Children14 (27)
 Both31 (61)
Funding source
 Non-profit organisation‡25 (49)
 For profit organisation0
 Both profit and non-profit0
 Not stated/stated as no funding received26 (51)
Affiliation of the corresponding author
 University44 (86)
 Government4 (8)
 Non-profit organisation1 (2)
 Industry2 (4)
Affiliation of the first author
 University46 (90)
 Government2 (4)
 Non-profit organisation1 (2)
 Industry2 (4)
Median (IQR)
Number of authors3 (2–6)
Journal impact factor, current (2018)4.17 (3.57–5.78)
Journal impact factor, last 5 years4.81 (3.43–7.45)
Number of relevant cited articles9 (6–13)
Number of review authors publications in the section concerning BW0 (0–0)
  • *From a total number of 33 included reviews. Where a review publication contained independent analyses and conclusions for randomised controlled trials and observational evidence, or adults and children, those were treated as separate evidence assessment units. This is the case for 18 papers, resulting in 51 evidence assessment units from the 33 reviews.

  • †From evidence assessment units with meta-analysis (n=11).

  • ‡Of the 25 EAUs with support from non-profit sources, 4 were supported by primarily industry-funded non-profit organisations and the rest by grants primarily from government, independent foundations and universities.

  • BW, body weight; IQR, Interquartile range; LES, low-energy sweeteners; n, sample size.