Do Diet Sodas Really Cause Weight Gain?


If you believe most of health related issues you read on the Internet your answer maybe yes, but a lead obesity researcher says, probably not. Dr. Barry Popkin the division head of the nutrition epidemiology at the University of North Carolina says none of the studies using rats and the effects of diet soda; make a convincing case that no-calorie sodas contribute to weight gain. Both Dr. Popkin and Dr. Richard Mattes, a nutrition professor at Purdue University, found little support that no-calorie sweeteners stimulate appetite or obesity.

Two additional researchers at Purdue conducted several health studies using rats, feeding them a diet of liquids containing sugar and another with a liquid containing an artificial sweetener. The results of one of the studies showed that the rats that were feed the artificial sweetener, tended to over eat when fed a diet of chocolate pudding. It was the result of this study that most Internet articles use to pronounce that diet sodas contribute to obesity.

Even the researchers of these Purdue University health studies were surprised by the Internet response. They point out that this was a small health study and additional evidence would be needed to come to such a conclusion. They also point to an adjoining study with rats that were fed chocolate pudding or chocolate milk, the rats being fed chocolate milk also over ate. Leading to a possible conclusion that liquid forms, may play a bigger significance than the type of sweetener.

Until further studies are completed, it may be premature to conclude that artificial sweeteners may be the cause of an overeating response.
Reference: Health, CPRescue – 267

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