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Thursday, February 28, 2008

Artificial sweeteners may screw with your appetite

Think a switch to diet drinks will help cut pounds? Possibly not.

Scientists found that rats consuming artificial sweeteners actually ate more than other rats and gained more weight. The hypothesis is that the body controls appetite by learning to match food flavor and sweetness to fullness. When the body gets sweetness but not as many calories, it may get fooled into thinking that sweetness doesn't provide fullness and cause the body to eat more to compensate.

  • The research was in rats, not humans
  • The rats had never encountered artificial sweeteners before. Most humans have.
Maybe this finding will eventually play out in humans as well, reminding us that there's no such things as a (calorie) free lunch.

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