No Artificial Sweeteners!
Fueling the Obesity Epidemic? Artificially Sweetened Beverage Use and Long‐term Weight Gain
Sharon P. Fowler Ken Williams Roy G. Resendez Kelly J. Hunt Helen P. Hazuda Michael P. Stern
First published: 06 September 2012 https://doi.org/10.1038/oby.2008.284
We have examined the relationship between artificially sweetened beverage (ASB) consumption and long‐term weight gain in the San Antonio Heart Study. From 1979 to 1988, height, weight, and Artifical Sweeteners Beverage consumption were measured among 5,158 adult residents of San Antonio, Texas. Seven to eight years later, 3,682 participants (74% of survivors) were re‐examined.
Outcome measures were incidence of overweight/obesity (OW/OBinc) and obesity (OBinc) (BMI ≥ 25 and ≥ 30 kg/m2, respectively), and BMI change by follow‐up (ΔBMI, kg/m2).
** A significant positive dose‐response relationship emerged between baseline
Artificial Sweeteners Beverage consumption and
all outcome measures, incidence of overweight/obesity (OW/OBinc) and obesity (OBinc) (BMI ≥ 25 and ≥ 30 kg/m2, respectively), and BMI change by follow‐up (ΔBMI, kg/m2)
adjusted for baseline BMI and demographic/behavioral characteristics.
Consuming >21 Artificial Sweeteners Beverages/week (vs. none)
was associated with almost‐doubled risk of OW/OB (odds ratio (OR) = 1.93, P = 0.007) among 1,250 baseline normal‐weight (NW) individuals, and
doubled risk of obesity (OR = 2.03, P = 0.0005) among 2,571 individuals with baseline BMIs <30 kg/m2.
Compared with nonusers (+1.01 kg/m2),
Change in Body Mass Index (Weight Gain) were significantly higher for Artificial Sweeteners Beverage quartiles 2–4: +1.46 (P = 0.003), +1.50 (P = 0.002), and +1.78 kg/m2 (P < 0.0001), respectively.
Overall, adjusted Change in Body Mass Index (Weight Gain) was
47% greater among Artificial Sweetener (AS) users
than nonusers (+1.48 kg/m2 vs. +1.01 kg/m2, respectively, P < 0.0001).
In separate analyses—stratified by gender; ethnicity; baseline weight category, dieting, or diabetes status; or exercise‐change category—
Change in Body Mass Index (Weight Gain) was consistently greater among Artificial Sweetener users.
These differences were significant in all 13 different subgroups.
These findings raise the question whether
Artificial Sweeteners use might be
**fueling**— rather than fighting—
our escalating obesity epidemic.