Dr Marthin Botha on the Diet Soda effect


An interesting fact has apparently been discovered by nutritional scientists, first working independently and then cooperatively in Great Britain and in Holland. After a person consumed the so-called “diet drink,” laced with artificial sweeteners, high acidity and no calories, the body will automatically stimulate the appetite of that person, trying to find the calories it expected from the sweet drink or confection.

Independent trials, using healthy active people, were conducted, both in Great Britain and Holland. In both countries they used active sports people aged between 18 and 35 years of age. The participants in each trial were divided into three groups with almost identical physical make up (age, sports type, gender and the position they played in their individual teams). Each group was given the same volume of the three different drinks half an hour before the meal was served (Diet Drink, Natural Sugar Drink (soda) and Water).

Identical food with predetermined total caloric values was served to each of the three groups (self-serve Buffet style). They were instructed to eat as much as they like, and to make sure there is no food left on their plates after the meal. The calories of the leftover food from each group were subtracted from the total calories presented to that group.

In both trials (Great Britain and Holland) it was found that the people, who have consumed the “Diet Drink” with artificial sweeteners, before the meal, consumed 150 to 300 calories more than the people who had a natural sugar drink (soda), and up to 600 calories more than the people who only drank water.

Apparently, this has all got to do with the long term conditioning of the human body, the connection of the taste buds on the human tongue to the part of the brain that controls appetite. In the case of the water drinking group, the water seems not to have triggered the increased appetite response from the brain.

The hypothesis is that the human body is now so conditioned to “expect” energy in the form of calories from the sweet drink. When the calories are not found from the sweet drink, such as in the “Diet drink,” it will stimulate the appetite, seemingly demanding those missing calories, that was promised by the sweetness.

Author’s Note: This have my attention and is definitely something that I will explore further, and now that you are part of this group, I will keep you informed of my findings. If this hypothesis is correct, it is then just normal to also start wondering about Natural Calorie Free Sweeteners. Would these have the same effect on the body and your appetite?

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One Response to Dr Marthin Botha on the Diet Soda effect

  1. Great post – so many people don’t understand how bad diet soda is.

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