In 2007, an estimated 194 million Americans (2/3 of the total population) consumed products sweetened with sugar substitutes, according to the Calorie Control Council, an industry group. That’s 14 million more than in 2004. The council reports that the most popular are sugar-free or reduced-sugar beverages, ice cream and desserts, chewing gum and sugar substitutes spooned into coffee or tea.

Five artificial sweeteners – acesulfame K, aspartame, neotame, saccharin, sucralose – are approved for use in the U.S. All are chemically manufactured molecules – molecules that do not exist in nature.

More info at http://www.holisticmed.com/aspartame/

Scientists from Purdue University now believe that a sweet taste followed by no calories may make the body crave extra food.

Their research, published in the journal Behavioral Neuroscience, found that saccharin-fed mice ate more calories, put on more fat, and gained more weight than their sugar-fed counterparts.

They did not make any attempt to cut back on their food later to regulate their weight.

The researchers wrote in the journal: “The data clearly indicate that consuming a food sweetened with no-calorie saccharin can lead to greater body-weight gain and adiposity than would consuming the same food sweetened with higher calorie sugar.

“One theory, they said, was that, in normal conditions, the arrival of a sweet taste in the mouth helped prime the metabolism for the arrival of a calorie-heavy, sweet meal into the digestive system. When the meal does not arrive, they said, the body may get confused and have more trouble regulating its appetite when other food is around. Read the rest of this entry »