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The Science Journal of the Lander College of Arts and Sciences

Abstract

Our world has developed an obsession with weight control and, as a result, has begun replacing high calorie foods with low-fat and non-caloric substitutes. Artificial sweeteners are a widely used solution to this growing problem. Though the intention when using artificial sweeteners is to lose weight, studies have shown that the opposite sometimes occurs. Researchers attempt to explain this surprising phenomenon with multiple hypotheses. Lack of appetite suppression and reward response may cause individuals to search for more food and to consume more calories. Artificial sweeteners can also have negative affects on biological mechanisms such as resting metabolic rate, as well as the gut microbial environment. These changes can cause improper energy absorption and storage, which leads to weight gain. Sociological effects of artificial sweeteners have lead consumers to enjoy products that are super sweet. They have also convinced consumers that they can eat more (food) but consume less (calories), a misconception that has left the world with a big “fat problem”.

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