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Dear Dietitian – Do diet sodas cause weight gain instead of loss?

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Dear Dietitian,

I am on a diet, and I usually drink one or two diet sodas a day. A coworker insists that diet sodas cause weight gain instead of weight loss. Is this true?

Suzanne

Dear Suzanne,

Artificial sweeteners, or nonnutritive sweeteners (NNS), made their debut with saccharin in 1884 in Germany. Saccharin was sold in the US under the brand name Sweet' N Low(r). Today there are numerous NNS on the market, some of which are aspartame (NutraSweet(r) and Equal(r)), sucralose (Splenda(r)), and Stevia.