Researchers from Purdue University tested this theory on two groups of rats in three different experiments. They discovered that rats fed yogurt sweetened with saccharin went on to eat more calories and gained more body fat and weight than another group of rats fed yogurt sweetened with glucose, which is basically pure sugar. The researchers theorize that our bodies expect sweet foods to contain calories, and when they don’t, we overcompensate by eating more calories throughout the day. The findings, published in the February 2008 issue of Behavioral Neuroscience, present a possible explanation for the rising tide of obesity, even in the presence of thousands of foods and beverages sweetened with no-calorie sugar substitutes. This study was done in rats, not humans, and it only used saccharin, an older sugar substitute that is less widely used than aspartame or sucralose. However, limiting your sweet intake – from both sugar and sugar substitutes, seems like a prudent step to maintain a healthy body weight.
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