You might want to put your Diet Coke down for this one. According to a large-scale study on the effects of artificial sweeteners, it could have a negative impact on our metabolism, gut bacteria and appetite.
So people are using sugar substitutes because they’re low-calorie, but it turns out that fake sugar might not be helping us shed pounds after all. The new research actually suggests these sweeteners could lead to an increased risk for developing diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and obesity.
Researchers from the University of Manitoba in Canada analyzed 37 studies which followed more than 400,000 people and found that scientific evidence just does “not clearly support: those weight loss benefits we think artificial sweeteners have.
Lead study author Meghan Azad says more research is needed to determine the long-term risks and benefits. But of course, not everyone agrees with this. Director general of the British Soft Drinks Association Gavin Partington says these findings go against all the “scientific research which shows low-calorie sweeteners can help people to reduce their calorie intake and manage their weight.”
So while science is still deciding if these sugar substitutes are safe or not, we’ll stick to real sugar and take our chances with the calories.