The causality could go in the other direction, too #8211; people who are gaining weight for other reasons may seek out more artificially sweetened foods. Or, as other research has shown, people who go on diets (and who may be more likely to drink diet sodas) often lose weight but then gain more afterward.
But an international group of researchers has tried to figure out whether low-calorie sweeteners really live up to their promise over time. Meghan Azad, a researcher at the University of Manitoba, and others reviewed dozens of studies about the long-term health effects of sugar substitutes, trying to see whether there was a prevailing trend.
Both the American Diabetes Association and the American Heart Association gave their stamp of approval to artificial sweeteners with statements listed on their websites in 2014, and Americans ate it up.
William Cefalu, the chief scientific medical and mission officer for the American Diabetes Association, reviewed Azad#8217;s study after being contacted by The Washington Post.