Artificial Sweeteners Encourage Eating
A study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, shows that artificial sweeteners fail to activate the biological signals responsible for instructing the body to stop eating. Sugar, on the other hand, turns on these stop-eating signals. In other words, eating foods containing artificial sweeteners won't leave you feeling satisfied, so you actually consume more calories not only at the present, but also at subsequent meals. Artificial sweeteners fail to put the brakes on eating.
Citation: "Effects of oral ingestion of sucralose on gut hormone response and appetite in healthy-weight subjects", Ford, HE, Peters V, Martin NM, Sleeth ML, Ghatei MA, Frost GS, Bloom SR, European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, April 2010
A Food Industry newsletter highlighted this study.
Sugar Reduces Food Intake
Individuals often eat palatable or "comfort" foods to relieve stress. While the objective of the cited animal study was to further decipher how the brain functions when it alleviates stress after comfort foods are eaten, the following data are notable.
Significance: Daily caloric intakes are the same whether sucrose-sweetened water (sweet taste with calories), saccharin-sweetened water (sweet taste without calories) or unsweetened water is included in daily diets. Caloric (food) intakes are reduced when the sweet taste contains calories but not when the sweet taste is devoid of calories.
Citation: "Pleasurable behaviors reduce stress via brain reward pathways." YM Ulrich-Lai, AM Christiansen, MM Ostrander, et al.Proceedings National Academy Sciences, November 2010
Healthy Lifestyles Make a Difference
More evidence that healthy lifestyles are important is provided in a study of coronary artery disease patients enrolled in a clinic rehabilitation program. Aerobic fitness – a measure of a healthy lifestyle – protected these patients by allowing them to live longer. Over 10 years of follow-up, patients who saw the highest death rate were the least fit even if they had normal (not overweight or obese) body weights. In fact, overweight patients who were aerobically fit were twice as likely to live longer than patients who were unfit.
Significance: These results show again that exercise is central to a healthy lifestyle.
Citation: "Combined effect of cardiorespiratory fitness and adiposity on mortality in patients with coronary artery disease." K Goel, RJ Thomas, RW Squires et al. American Heart Journal, March 2011