Diet soft drinks trick mind to make you fatter, claims study

Henrietta Strickland
August 12, 2017

When a beverage is either too sweet or not sweet enough for the amount of calories it contains, the metabolic response and the signal that communicates nutritional value to the brain are disrupted, according to study published August 10 in the journal Current Biology. Reward circuits in the brain also did not register that calories had been consumed, which could lead to eating more. But diet products confuses mind and creates a fake image that there are few calories in bodies.

"When sweet taste and energy are not matched, less energy is metabolised and inaccurate signals go to the brain".

Artificial sweeteners have become the norm in many homes now, effectively replacing sugar in tea, coffee, shakes, desserts and other sweet preparations.

Dominic Dwyer, Professor of Psychology at Cardiff University, commented that this mismatch might cause a negative impact on weight gain, diabetes, heart disease and so on; however, further studies are needed to find the link between unburned calories and metabolic health.

However, a new research study indicates that these benefits may just be theoretical since artificial sweeteners may actually increase the risk of diabetes and weight gain.

The results were discovered by giving 15 people drinks with varying calorie contents, then measuring their brain response in an MRI scanner.

Senior author of the study, which has been published in the journal Current Biology, Professor Dana Small said: "A calorie is not a calorie".

"They may be free of calories but not of consequences - and diabetes is only one of them".

Small noted that many processed foods contain such mismatches - such as a yogurt with low calorie sweeteners.

According to her, human bodies are evolved to use the available natural sources of energy efficiently, but, the modern food environment consists of energy sources that are not seen by the bodies before.

In nature, sweetness signals the presence of energy and its intensity reflects the amount of energy present.

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