Researchers claim diet drinks confuse the brain and put consumers at risk of obesity
Zero-calorie drinks could be making you fat according to researchers who have made a discovery concerning chemical reactions in the brain.
Scientists discovered the different reactions in the brain when introducing an artificial sweetener, saccharin, into the bloodstream of those who consume diet drinks regularly.
In regular diet-drinkers they found that the brain could no longer differentiate between calorie-free sweetener and sugar.
This means the calorie intake and energy consumption cannot be calculated by the body.
Erin Green and Claire Murphy from San Diego State University found certain areas of the brain react differently to sugars or foods in diet-drinkers, compared to in non-diet drinkers who respond appropriately to the intake of sugars.
The new findings may help explain why high consumption of fizzy diet drinks has often been associated with weight gain.