Expert warns of harmful effects of artificial sweeteners

Reviewing the evidence, US behavioural neuroscientist Professor Susan Swithers said evidence is accumulating that frequent consumers of sugar substitutes are, counter-intuitively, at increased risk of weight gain, metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes.

Artificial sweeteners, now being added to a huge range of foods, not just drinks, may interfere with learned responses contributing to glucose and energy homeostasis, she says.

Research suggested caution was needed about the overall sweetening of the diet, regardless of caloric intake.