My SEED column this week focuses on artificial sweeteners. Can switching to artificial sweeteners help solve the obesity problem in the U.S.? Here’s a snippet:
Saunders says an August report from the American Heart Association (AHA) made it quite clear that excessive sugar consumption is dangerous, and he argues that sugar should be seen as a toxic substance. But how much is too much? The new AHA guidelines suggest limiting added sugar to no more than half of discretionary calories–calories consumed after basic nutritional needs are met. For the average male, Saunders says, this works out to about 150 calories per day: one can of Coke, or one candy bar. No free refills.
Again, the answer seems obvious: Just switch to diet drinks. They taste about the same, but with no sugar and no calories. Not so fast, says BikeMonkey, an anonymous biomedical researcher and former bike racer who blogs at DrugMonkey. BikeMonkey cites a 2008 study published in Behavioral Neuroscience where rats were given either sugar-sweetened or artificially sweetened yogurt in addition to their usual diet of rat chow. The rats who ate artificial sweeteners gained significantly more weight over five weeks than the rats who had sugar-sweetened yogurt.
There’s much more to it than that, though. Click here to read the whole thing.
- How much does make-up affect perceived age? The Psychology of Beauty blog looks at a recent study — and questions its methodology.
- Is caffeine just a placebo? The Neuroskeptic looks at recent study — and questions its methodology.
- Do women prefer an attractive outsider or their primary partner during ovulation? Primate Diaries looks at a recent study — and pretty much agrees with its methodology.
- Do food ads actually sell the foods they’re advertising, or do they just make us eat more? Lucid Thoughts looks at a recent study — and doesn’t really discuss methodology so much as examine its implications.