Ask the experts: Artificial sweeteners in soft drinks
Q: “Can the artificial sweeteners in soft drinks make you gain weight?”
Jo, via email
A: Accredited Practising Dietitian Maddison Fox writes:
“More and more evidence is emerging to suggest that drinking beverages with artificial sweeteners may make you gain weight by over-stimulating your taste receptors for sweetness. Consuming these drinks alone (without food) can confuse your body’s ability to determine calorie content based on sweetness. As a result, the hyped-up sugar receptors could increase hunger and intake of sugary foods, ultimately contributing to weight gain.
For those used to drinking lots of sugary beverages, replacing them with a calorie-free soft drink might help kickstart weight loss, but for just how long is unknown. If you are unsure as to whether artificial sweeteners are sabotaging your weight loss attempts, speak with an Accredited Practising Dietitian for further investigation.”