A DIET soft drink a day could be making you fat, more likely to get diabetes and at higher risk of cardiovascular disease.
Artificial sweeteners used in these drinks are meant to give you the taste without the calories but a major review of scientific studies suggests they may instead interfere with the body's normal energy regulation.
Researcher Susan Swithers of Purdue University in the US says sweet tastes normally trigger a psychological response that signals the arrival of nutrients in the stomach.
However, research shows when artificial sweeteners are consumed no such energy burst follows the taste and over time this appears to weaken the body's natural response to a sweetness.
"By weakening the validity of sweet taste as a signal for caloric post-ingestive outcomes, consumption of artificial sweeteners could impair energy and body weight regulation," she says in a paper published in Trends in Endocrinology and Metabolism.
The research looks at 15 large health studies from around the world that included data on artificial sweetener consumption over the past 40 years.
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