"There's something about diet foods that changes your metabolic limit, your brain chemistry," said ABC News' medical contributor Dr. Marie Savard.
Savard said another recent study, which included more than 18,000 people, found healthy adults who consumed at least one diet drink a day could increase their chance for weight gain.
In the Purdue study, the rats whose diets contained artificial sweeteners appeared to experience a physiological connection between sweet tastes and calories, which drove them to overeat.
"The taste buds taste sweet, but there's no calorie load that comes with it. There's a mismatch here. It seems it changes your brain chemistry in some way," Savard said.
Because so many foods today contain artificial sweeteners, the study results may go beyond diet drinks.
"The truth is, we're putting artificial sweetener in so many different things in water, in yogurt," Savard said. It's unclear if the results only adhere to diet sodas, she said.
Saccharin is actually banned where I live (Canada), so if this is the only artificial sweetner in the rat study, doesn't actually affect me.
What it seems to me to be saying, is because there is no calories associated with the sweet taste, the rats brain chemistry went haywire, and they got more hungry and consumed more. So its not that the artificial sweetner *cause* the rats to gain weight, it caused them to feel more hungry and consume more, leading to weight gain. They don't say what controls (if any) was in the adult study. They may have been doing what the rats did.
But does anyone have some good knowledge on this subject?