Consumption of noncaloric, artificially sweetened beverages (ASBs) is associated with an increased risk for obesity, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and cardiovascular disease, according to an opinion article by Dr Susan E Swithers (Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN) published online July 10, 2013 in Trends in Endocrinology & Metabolism.
“This somewhat counterintuitive result may reflect negative consequences of interfering with learned relationships between sweet tastes and typical postingestive outcomes.” Swithers writes.
The prospective studies Swithers reviewed found an elevated risk for weight gain and obesity, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, and hypertension in those who consumed ASBs. No decreased risk for weight gain or increased body fat percentage was associated with ASB intake.
It was often difficult to compare the magnitude of increased risk with that of participants who consumed sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs), in part because of differences in intake.
Studies that separately assessed risk among those who were not overweight or obese at baseline found that the risks of becoming overweight or obese, developing type 2 diabetes, and experiencing vascular events were increased.
So, Caution would be advised while consuming artificial sweeteners.
It would be best to follow a healthy lifestyle and diet along with exercise to ward off obesity in the long run!