I often hear the “artificial sweeteners are worse for you” comment. But restrain myself from getting into a debate about it.

Because truth be told, I was guilty of this myself many years ago.

When I see the health segment on the tv in the morning, I can’t help but shake my head. No wonder the world is confused about what’s healthy. Today they’ll promote high protein, and tomorrow they’ll promote vegan. Then the next day you should eat cake for breakfast. Wow 🤯 Mind blown.

The best thing you can do for your nutritional knowledge is to not listen to anything on TV. Or Netflix. Please understand that documentaries on Netflix are bias and created for entertainment purposes. They will pick one little snippet from a research paper that supports their bias and just ROLL WITH IT… When in fact, if you dig a little deeper, there was more to the study.

That leads me to…🥁

Artificial sweeteners: Do they make you gain weight?

I’m writing this while currently sipping on my white monster drink…

Why do people think artificial sweeteners cause weight gain?

And do ‘dieters’ just consume more zero-calorie drinks?


Observational studies have shown that people who are overweight or obese drink more sugar-free drinks than people who are a healthy weight.Although overweight people may drink more diet drinks, the diet drinks are unlikely to cause the problem. 

This meta-analysis of 15 RCT’s (Randomised controlled trials) show that switching from a calorie drink to a zero calorie drink resulted in a significant reduction in: Miller & Perez (2014)

  • BMI
  • Fat Mass
  • Waist circumference

Therefore, disproving the myth that artificial sweeteners cause weight gain.

Why? Because they removed calories from their diet and the energy balance scale tipped them into a deficit where they lost weight.

“But Aspartame causes cancer?”

A review in the Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology Journal concluded that:

“The studies provide no evidence to support an association between aspartame and cancer in any tissue. The weight of scientific evidence confirms that, even in small amounts many times what people typically consume, aspartame is safe for its intended uses as a sweetener and flavour enhancer.”

Did you know?
The FDA approved aspartame at 50mg per 1kg of bodyweight.
That’s 60 cans of coke zero for a 70kg person. So, I think you’re safe!

What to take away from this:

  • Artificial sweeteners will not make you gain weight.
  • Switching out a calorie drink for a zero-calorie drink will reduce your overall calorie consumption to aid in weight loss.
  • Use artificial sweeteners as part of a balanced and varied diet.
  • Don’t watch documentaries about nutrition on Netflix.
  • If someone questions your choice of a sugar-free drink, just ask “what makes you think that?”


Bianca Coghlan
MNU Certified Nutritionist