Psychologists at Purdue University may have unconvered a new clue to the growing obesity problem: artificial sweeteners may interfere with the body's mechanisms for tracking calorie consumption and regulating hunger:
"Historically, we knew that our body learns that if the food is thick, such as whole milk, it tends to have more calories than compared to a thinner liquid such as skim milk," Swithers said. "Now, our research reinforces this and takes it one step further, showing that our bodies translate this information about perceived calories into a gauge to tell us when to stop eating."
Although their conclusions are based on studies of rats, they suggest that consuming diet soda and other foods sweetened artificially, as well as the increased consumption of hgih-calorie beverages, may be part of the problem.
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