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Artificial sweeteners may "activate a craving without satisfying it" leading to potential increased caloric consumption later.


Stashed in: Brain, Coca Cola, That's not food.

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Best Reddit comment points out that this study is highly prone to error.

From the paper:

"Lastly, although the results of the current research have found support for the hypothesis that NCS consumption causes psychological changes that may encourage increased calorie consumption, the specific mechanism guiding the reported effects is admittedly speculative. As of this writing, we do not have direct causal evidence from which we can draw final conclusions about whether the demonstrated shifts are guided by perceptions of a bodily energy crisis based on the decoupling of sweetness with energy availability, as hypothesized"

So they know they can't conclude anything from this study.

Reading through the details of this study it becomes clear that it was done on a budget and looks a lot like a classroom experimental design. They used over the counter Sprite, Sprite-Zero and generic lemon-lime soda as their tests, and then talk about "NCS Sweeteners" as if these three products completely represent the entire class of compounds.

The results were self-reported, which is highly prone to error. (The act of asking you "How do you feel?" influences how you feel!)

Nonetheless, food for thought.

More Reddit comments:

http://reddit.com/r/science/comments/2fk7zf/artificial_sweeteners_may_activate_a_craving/

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