Artificial Sweeteners Are Linked to Weight Gain-Not Weight Loss

Faith Castro
July 17, 2017

The most important of the numerous limitations of the studies was the fact that these randomized trials, such as the ones done in these studies, are short term usually and do not include as mean people to be able to confidently say that the sweeteners used are actually causing them harm or are being beneficial in any way.

Meanwhile the longer observational studies showed a link between consumption of artificial sweeteners and relatively higher risks of weight gain and obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease and other health issues. However, other experts say there's not enough evidence to recommend abstaining from these sugar substitutes, noting they're approved by Health Canada.

Azad said that the lack of benefits gathered from the studies and questions about the possible harm artificial sweeteners might cause should give people pause when using them, especially for those who think sweeteners are a healthy alternative to sugar.

To better understand whether consuming artificial sweeteners is associated with negative long-term effects on weight and heart disease, researchers from the University of Manitoba's George & Fay Yee Centre for Healthcare Innovation conducted a review of 37 studies that followed over 400 000 people for an average of 10 years.

Turns out, Azad picked up on patterns. Another study published earlier this year found that a quarter of USA children and 41 percent of adults reported consuming them, majority once per day.

Compared to people who avoid diet food lovers have, for example, diet soft drinks, the higher the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease and metabolic syndrome (group of symptoms, among them excess weight, hypertension, etc.).

Most of the participants in the randomized trials were on a weight-loss program, and taken together, the results showed no significant impact of sweetener use on body mass index. It could be by justifying a second helping of dinner because they saved the 165 calories they would have got from a can of Coke. And more trials that reflect how people consume sweeteners in a host of foods are needed.

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Other hypotheses suggest they promote a preference for sweetness, leading to further consumption of sweet foods and beverages, or may lead people to indulge in other ways. This could be tampering with metabolism and predisposes you to weight gain.

Health sciences Prof. Meghan Azad was one of them, reaching for the low-calorie choices until she started researching them in detail.

Researchers looked at two types of scientific research and found that there is no solid evidence that artificial sweeteners help people with their weight, NPR reports.

Consumption of diet soda has skyrocketed over the past few decades.

Another possibility, Azad said, is that we compensate and think that drinking a diet pop permits us to enjoy pizza and cake later.

And, she says, one option is to reduce your taste for sweet altogether rather than choosing between a sugar-sweetened or artificially-sweetened drink or food. Therefore, researchers developed this new study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

Other reports by LeisureTravelAid

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