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Carrie Snyder / The Forum

Weighing the benefits, dangers of artificial sweeteners, other sugar substitutes

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Little pink, blue and yellow packets have become staples of coffee shops, diners and kitchen tables across America.

Every day in the U.S., artificial sweeteners and other sugar alternatives are added to coffee and tea, used in processed foods, and substituted in recipes.

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Most sweeteners are low-calorie or calorie-free, don't raise blood-sugar levels, and don't contribute to tooth decay.

They're widely used to help control weight and diabetes.

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