But Mother Nature isn’t fooled.
Mice studies have shown that non-nutritive sweeteners make mice more efficient at absorbing sugar from their diet. Although this hasn’t been proved yet in humans, we have the same setup for it.
In human terms, that would mean if two identical people ate the same diet with the same number of calories, except one person drank diet soda and the other drank water, the diet-soda drinker would take up more glucose from the diet than the water drinker.
This likely explains why diet-soda drinkers don’t lose weight and often gain weight.
In the pancreas, scientists think, sweet receptors activate insulin secretion. Any sweetener that sets them off, whether real or fake, might affect the development of insulin resistance and diabetes.
Researchers at Purdue University found that rats fed yogurt sweetened with saccharin gained more weight than rats fed yogurt sweetened with glucose (or simple sugar). The saccharin group also ultimately consumed more calories, had bigger appetites and put on more body fat, according to a pair of studies, the most recent of which appeared in April in Behavioural Brain Research.