According to University of Minnesota Medical School and School of Public Health researchers, ingesting artificial sweeteners over an extended length of time is associated with weight gain.
Over 20 years, the study team investigated people's typical dietary intake, focusing on non-nutritive sweeteners often present in artificial sweeteners.
Long-term usage of aspartame, saccharin, and diet drinks, according to the data published in the International Journal of Obesity, was connected to increased fat deposits in the belly and fat inside the muscle, eventually leading to weight gain.
However, the study revealed no link between the artificial sweetener sucralose and these fat volume measurements.
According to co-author Brian Steffen, this study found that regular, long-term consumption of total and individual artificial sweetener intakes are associated with higher quantities of adipose tissue, also known as body fat.
"This was found even after accounting for other factors, including how much a person eats or the quality of one's diet," he said.
The study's findings cast doubt on the American Diabetes Association and American Heart Association's suggestions to replace additional sugars with artificial sweeteners.
Based on their findings, the researchers propose that alternate ways be considered, as long-term artificial sweetener intake may have adverse health repercussions, including weight gain.
"This is an especially timely study, given the World Health Organization's recent warning of the potential health risks of aspartame."- Principal investigator Lyn Steffen
She says these findings emphasize the significance of finding alternatives to artificial sweeteners in foods and beverages, especially when these added sweeteners may have harmful health effects.
According to the researchers, more study is needed to better understand the link between artificial sweetener consumption and increasing body fat. The team concludes that additional research is also required to investigate the underlying processes and acquire a better understanding of how eating choices impact metabolic health.