Aspartame — the artificial sweetener found in drinks like Diet Coke — is probably not good for you. If you believe otherwise, I admire your commitment to self-delusion. A new study published by a team of investigators at Massachusetts General Hospital in Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism found a possible reason aspartame doesn't help you lose weight — oh sorry, haven't you heard? Like most things in society, diet soft drink is probably a giant scam.
Tagged With obesity
By studying the genomes of more than 5000 Samoans, researchers from the University of Pittsburgh have uncovered a single gene that boosts a person's obesity risk by upwards of 40 per cent. Remarkably, this gene — which appears in a quarter of all Samoans — may have arisen in the population as they colonised the South Pacific.
Though it bears some resemblance to a Tim and Eric sketch, the AspireAssist is a very real medical device, approved by the US FDA for installation in people 22 or older "with a body mass index of 35 to 55, and who have failed to achieve and maintain weight loss through non-surgical weight-loss therapy". It allows patients to drain predigested food from their stomachs into a nearby toilet.
Scientists now know that gut microbes almost certainly play a role in us getting fat, and poop transplants are sometimes touted as a potential route to weight loss. But if that's a little too icky for you, Vanderbilt scientists have been experimenting with more refined microbiome tinkering in mice using genetically modified E. coli.
If you're anything like over 60 per cent of Australians, you have a few kilos of fat you could stand to lose. If you saw what a pound of body fat actually looks like, you might be double-motivated. Yet there are a lot of misconceptions about fat — some of which could inform mistakes in our weight-loss endeavours. Let's see if we can't cut through some of the misinformation with a little bit of knowledge.