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About This GigapanToggle
- Taken by
- Aresty Posters 2009
- Explore score
- 0.06 Gigapixels
- Date added
- May 24, 2009
- Date taken
- May 23, 2009
Effects of Aspartame on Food Preference and Mortality Rates in Rats Given a Junk Food Diet
Since the introduction of diet sodas, the rate of obesity in the U.S. has increased. We hypothesized that low-calorie sweeteners such as aspartame?the main sweetener in diet sodas?develop cravings for foods high in carbohydrates and fats. We studied the effects of aspartame using two groups of rats on a high-fat diet: one was given aspartame solution; one was given water. Each week, the rats were provided various high-fat foods that composed a junk-food diet. The food and water intake were measured and then analyzed to determine whether the aspartame has affected food consumption (specifically intake of fat, protein, carbohydrates, sugar, sodium, and total food weight) or food preference. Results indicated that the rats on the aspartame diet consumed more fries and Pop-Tarts. Both foods are high in carbohydrates and fats; rats also demonstrated an increased consumption of both. Pop-Tarts, which have a higher percentage of carbohydrates, were eaten more than fries suggesting that rats crave carbohydrates. Additional data also suggests that rats that consumed aspartame died at a faster rate than rats that did not ingest aspartame.
Alexis Roldan, Dan O'Sullivan, Juliana Nikolic, Julie M. Fagan, Ph.D.