The Effect of Nonnutritive Sweeteners Added to a Liquid Diet on Volume and Caloric Intake and Weight Gain in Rats

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Objective: Long-term effects of diet beverage consumption on the regulation of caloric intake is unclear.The goal of this study was to investigate whether the chronic intake of a liquid diet with nonnutritive sweeteners (NNS) would lead to greater appetite and weight gain.

Methods: Wistar rats were fed a liquid diet (Osmolite) sweetened with nutritive sweetener (NS; sucrose)and NNS (stevia and saccharin) or a nonsweetened control. Intakes and weight gain were measured.Phases 1 and 2 investigated sweetness preference, phase 3 used diets with or without sweeteners, and phase 4 measured the effect on volume of food and caloric intake of alternating between NNS, NS, and control diets.

Results: In phase 1, rats preferred: stevia, 0.10%; saccharin, 0.20%; and sucrose, 15%. In phase 2, rats preferred the sweetened diet over the control. In phase 3, rats fed the NS diet consumed less volume and more calories but gained less weight. In phase 4, when altering diet from NNS to NS, no differences were observed in appetite or weight gain.

Conclusions: Using sucrose-sweetened diet as a control, increased weight gain with the ingestion of NNS was observed. However, using a nonsweetened control, neither increased caloric intake nor weight gain occurred with NNS intake. Alternating diets between NNS, NS, and control did not affect the appetite.


Family Consumer Science, Biological Sciences, Chemistry and Geology

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