Are artificial sweeteners fueling the obesity epidemic

July 3, 2013
There is much information on the dangers of artificial sweeteners. One of the side affects of their consumption is, ironically, gaining weight. See here for another study explaining this phenomenon. This study was published in the journal Obesity in 2008 and examined 3682 people over a 10 year period. The more artificial sweetened products consumed the higher rates of becoming overweight or obese followed. Those that consumed more than 21 artificial sweetened products a week doubled their risk of becoming overweight or obese. Another finding was that those that consumed artificial products significantly increased the percentage of calories consumed from protein, fat, and carbohydrate. One of the main ingredients in aspartame is aspartate. In large doses aspartate is toxic to parts of the brain that control our appetite. In other words we don’t know when to stop eating. The authors note, “Increased incidence of metabolic syndrome (by 34 to 53%) has been observed among artificial sweetener users in two major observational studies." Metabolic syndrome is characterized by having elevated blood glucose, triglycerides, and blood pressure, low HDL cholesterol, and increased midsection girth which increases the risk of heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, cancer, and diabetes among others.  There are no health benefits to artificial sweeteners and should not be consumed.  One of the main goals to eating healthier is to decrease your consumption of sweet things whether it be sweet tea, soda, fruit juice, and sugar laden foods.  You will naturally stop craving those products with time as you body heals.

Artificially Sweetened Beverage Use and Long-term Weight Gain. Obesity. August 2008, Vol. 16, No. 8; pp. 1894-1900

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