Oct 06 2010

Gain Weight by ‘going diet”

Published by at 5:38 pm under General Topic

Can eating diet foods actually cause us to gain weight? Should we add real sugar back into our menu to lose weight?

You would think with the addition of over 6,000 diet products added to the American food supply between 1999 to 2004 it would have helped prevent the obesity epidemic, but it has not. In fact the rise in obesity coincides with the use of non-caloric artificial sweeteners raising the question; Are diet products part of the problem?
Writing in the Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine Dr Qing Yang http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2892765/

reviewed the research linking artificial sweeteners with weight gain. In one study following more than  3,500 adults  over a seven-to-eight year period the participants drinking diet soda weighed more compared to those not drinking diet beverages. In an American Cancer Society study,  including over 78,0000 women, the women who were regular users of artificial sweeteners gained more weight compared to non-users. Similar reports of weight gain have been found in children consuming artificially sweetened products when compared to peers not consuming these products.
One of the best studies suggesting a connection between the use of artificial sweeteners and weight gain came in an animal study. Scientist at Purdue University found that rats gained more weight when they were fed yogurt flavored with non caloric sweeteners compared to the rats fed yogurt sweetened with sugar. http://news.uns.purdue.edu/html4ever/2004/040629.Swithers.research.html

There may be several reasons why weight gain is linked to non-caloric sweeteners. Diet foods may lead us to believe we save enough calories to over eat  foods we might not normally choose. Ordering a double cheeseburger, and large fries with a diet drink on the side could be an example of this sort of behavior. Another reason may be that the taste of sweet, whether from sugar or artificial sweeteners enhances our appetite, and increases our  desire for food, but the absence of calories in diet foods actually leaves us hungry and looking for more to eat. Just consuming artificial sweeteners, may create a sweet tooth and promote sugar cravings , making it harder to control portions.

The research is not definitive on this subject, but if you have been unsuccesful with weight loss  you may want to rethink what you actually eat and drink. Try eliminating foods flavored with non-caloric sweeteners, avoiding sweet flavors in beverages, cereal and snacks . Instead, eat real sugar in  small servings of dessert, where it will probably be most satisfying.

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