The past 25 years have seen a dramatic increase in the consumption of artificially sweetened foods, including those containing sucralose, aspartame, saccharin, etc. Yet the incidence of overweight and obesity has also increased markedly during this period. Despite the superficial logic that consuming fewer calories will lead to weight loss, the evidence is very clear that using artificial sweeteners can, paradoxically, cause weight gain.
Most of us are aware of research showing the links between specific artificial sweeteners such as aspartame and saccharin and cancer. But all artificial sweeteners are also known to cause increased cravings and weight gain and may subsequently contribute to insulin resistance. According to a study by researchers at the University of Texas San Antonio, middle-aged adults who drink diet soft drinks drastically increase their risk of gaining weight later on. The study monitored the weight and soda-drinking habits of more than 600 normal-weight subjects aged 25 to 64. When researchers followed up with the participants after 8 years, they discovered those who consumed one diet soda a day were 65 percent more likely to be overweight than those who drank none. Drinking two or more low- or no-calorie soft drinks daily raised the odds of becoming obese or overweight even higher. The real shocker? Participants who drank diet soda had a greater chance of becoming overweight than those who drank regular soda!