Transcript: How Diet Soda Could Make Us Gain Weight
Erythritol, the too-good-to-be-true nontoxic, low-calorie, tooth friendly sweetener that may even act as an antioxidant. What’s the catch? Well, there are three ways that all noncaloric sweeteners could theoretically be harmful independent of their specific chemistry. Over the years, “Several large scale prospective cohort studies found positive correlation between artificial sweetener use and weight gain,” meaning the people that drank the most diet soda, for example, gained the most weight. The most common explanation for this counterintuitive finding is what's called reverse causation. People aren’t fat because they drink diet soda, they drink diet soda because they’re fat! But there are at least three other less benign alternative explanations. The first is called “overcompensation for expected caloric reduction.” If you covertly switch someone's soda for diet soda without them knowing it, their caloric intake drops, obviously— they’re not drinking all that sugar anymore. But what if you tell them what you did? People who knowingly are consuming artificial sweeteners may actually end up eating more calories. Why? because they’re like hey, I’m drinking diet soda, so I can have two pieces of cake. In this study they gave people an artificially sweetened cereal for breakfast, but only told half of the group what they did. As you can see when it came to lunchtime, the aspartame-informed group ate significantly more than the aspartame-naive group that didn't know any different. Basically, it’s the diet soda with a fast food meal syndrome.
To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Ashley Rhinehart, RN.
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