“The majority of observational studies addressing synthetic or non-nutritive sweeteners (NNS) consumption show an association with metabolic dysregulation.”

Beyond food intake, numerous studies have shown that…

animals consuming synthetic sweeteners exhibit weight gain



accumulation of body fat 

or impaired glucose homeostasis

or exhibit weaker caloric compensation

Previous work has suggested that synthetic sweeteners act through the microbiome

or by reducing the validity of “sweetness” to predict caloric content

An early study reported a significant correlation between NNS consumption and weight gain in an ∼80 000 participants study

Other independent studies confirmed these associations, with synthetically sweetened beverage consumption being associated with a much higher incidence of metabolic syndrome (odds ratio ∼1.93) when compared to non-users

and NNS consumption has been identified as a significant risk factor for metabolic disease in children

middle-aged adults 

and the elderly 

One study showed that NNS consumers exhibit reduced weight gain

however, these participants showed increased risk for developing diabetes in an 8-year follow-up. Furthermore, human intervention studies have also shown that ingestion of NNS could enhance appetite

promote hunger

and increase food consumption


resulting in impaired glucose tolerance

However, other studies have reported no major effect or weight loss as a result of consuming NNSs


…and the overall impact of NNS on metabolic health remains controversial.

“Despite inclusion in thousands of products, and consumption by billions of people, the molecular effects of ingesting synthetically sweetened food are not well understood. Moreover, there is conflicting evidence from both human and animal studies as to whether or not synthetic sweeteners interact with overall physiology or regulation of energy homeostasis.”

Excerpts from: Sucralose Promotes Food Intake through NPY and a Neuronal Fasting Response

All the studies referenced here are cited and hyperlinked in the article.