Found this article on another site and thought it was worth a read even though we have all heard it before, the dangers of Aspartame but this is the first time I have seen it linked to obesity. I am very careful in making sure what I buy has no artificial sweetners but I thought 1 (650) ml bottle of diet coke a day would be OK
ASPARTAME AND WEIGHT GAIN
Food seeking behavior and satiety are driven by an area of the brain known as the hypothalamus. Stimulation of the medial hypothalamus in a laboratory rat leads to eating. Stimulation of the lateral hypothalamus leads to satiety and cessation of eating. Placing a lesion in the lateral hypothalamus produces an obese rat. The lateral hypothalamus is driven by serotonin. There are many papers in the current literature demonstrating that antidepressants which increase serotonin (but not antidepressants which act on other neurotransmitters) are useful in treating binge eating disorders. I believe that consuming large amounts of aspartame decreases the availability of serotonin and is thus analogous to placing a lesion in the lateral hypothalamus. Although much of this work is recent, clinical suggestions that aspartame can lead to a paradoxical increased appetite date back to Blunder's work of 1986.
An evolving view in modern psychiatry is that although depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, panic disorder, impulse control disorders and eating disorders have historically been viewed as separate entities, in fact they should be viewed as a continuum of disorders all involving some degree of dysregulation of serotonin. I believe that at this time there is overwhelming evidence that aspartame contributes to this dysregulation.
There is an epidemic of obesity in America, and we've known that diet pop with aspartame, and in other products has caused it. And now it has been shown by a new study and 7 to 8 years of data by Sharon P. Fowler, MPH and colleagues at the University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio: (Diet Soda Drinkers Gain Weight)
In this study Sharon Fowler says it shows that "Something linked to diet soda drinking is also linked to obesity." How true! That product is aspartame (NutraSweet/Equal/Spoonful/Canderel, E951).
Today, Sharon Fowler said: "It seems clear from case reports that some individuals can have very serious reactions to aspartame, which range from memory problems to severe depression. None of these would be beneficial either to our young people who might develop such reactions or to the teachers and administrators working with them. The real question is, why should anyone offer products for sale to our young people which might, be deleterious to their long term health, to their ability to achieve their highest potential academically, and to the classroom experience, as well?"
An earlier study found weight gain among 78,694 women using artificial sweeteners: Stellman SD, Garfinkel L. Artificial Sweetener Use and One-Year Weight Change Among Women. Prev Med 1985; 15: 195 - 202.
Drink More Diet Soda, Gain More Weight?
Overweight Risk Soars 41% With Each Daily Can of Diet Soft Drink
By Daniel DeNoon
WebMD Medical News Reviewed By Charlotte Grayson, MD
on Monday, June 13, 2005
June 13, 2005 -- People who drink diet soft drinks don't lose weight. In fact, they gain weight, a new study shows.
The findings come from eight years of data collected by Sharon P. Fowler, MPH, and colleagues at the University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio. Fowler reported the data at the annual meeting of the American Diabetes Association in San Diego.
"What didn't surprise us was that total soft drink use was linked to overweight and obesity," Fowler tells WebMD. "What was surprising was when we looked at people only drinking diet soft drinks, their risk of obesity was even higher."
In fact, when the researchers took a closer look at their data, they found that nearly all the obesity risk from soft drinks came from diet sodas.
"There was a 41% increase in risk of being overweight for every can or bottle of diet soft drink a person consumes each day," Fowler says.
More Diet Drinks, More Weight Gain
Fowler's team looked at seven to eight years of data on 1,550 Mexican-American and non-Hispanic white Americans aged 25 to 64. Of the 622 study participants who were of normal weight at the beginning of the study, about a third became overweight or obese.
For regular soft-drink drinkers, the risk of becoming overweight or obese was:
26% for up to 1/2 can each day
30.4% for 1/2 to one can each day
32.8% for 1 to 2 cans each day
47.2% for more than 2 cans each day.
For diet soft-drink drinkers, the risk of becoming overweight or obese was:
36.5% for up to 1/2 can each day
37.5% for 1/2 to one can each day
54.5% for 1 to 2 cans each day
57.1% for more than 2 cans each day.
For each can of diet soft drink consumed each day, a person's risk of obesity went up 41%.