WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- You may try to cut calories or sugar and use the artificial sweeteners. Rumors say if you eat a lot of artificial sweeteners, you'll want more. We turned to Doctor Joseph Skelton with Brenners Childrens Hospital at Wake Forest Baptist to sort the fact from fiction.
Skelton said, "It is a myth that taking in artifical sweeteners is going to have you craving more sugar or have a bad effect on your body."
He said two things tend to happen. He said, "One, you get used to eating and drinking sweet stuff with artificial sweetener. When those things aren't available, you'll go for the real things [...] and sometimes that leads people to have it as a habit and take in more of the real sweet stuff when isn't available."
Skelton said the second part is psychological. "When we take in sugar free drinks and foods, we think we can actually have more of it. If we are taking in a lot of sugar free stuff, we think that its okay to eat more." He used cake as an example and said, "Sometimes you'll have that second piece instead of sticking with the one piece [...]. You think I'm doing a healthy thing so I can do an unhealthy thing."
He also said people here's something else to remember: just because something is low fat, that doesn't mean it's low calorie or low sugar.