In an effort to reduce calories and lose weight, many people switched to Diet Coke and foods containing aspartame when the artificial sweetener was approved as a food additive in the mid-1980s.
Aspartame is widely known by the brand names NutraSweet and Equal artificial sweeteners. It was approved for use in diet sodas and children’s vitamins in 1983 after a tenacious and scandalous 14-year battle with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) around safety concerns. Aspartame’s approval and its effect on public health are extremely well-documented.
Watch this short video Aspartame: The Bitter Truth Behind this Toxic Sweetener. Its just one of the many documentaries to expose the aspartame sweet lie.
Take another moment to read (or at least skim) the document Aspartame the History of a Killer. Former FDA investigator Arthur M. Evangelista provides a gripping, detailed account of aspartame’s discovery, clinical trials and distortion of outcomes data, legal and regulatory battles around scientific evidence that seriously challenged safety (toxicity, carcinogen), misconduct and violations, lawsuits and alleged kickbacks, suspected quid pro quos and conflicts of interest, and how aspartame ultimately came to be approved as a food additive.
As further evidence, read (or skim) Aspartame – The Shocking Story of the World’s Best-Selling Sweetener published in The Ecologist. Reporter Pat Thomas provides the same account of the historical events as Evangelista does.
Indeed, there was – and remains today — huge market demand by Americans with burgeoning waistlines for a great tasting low calorie sweetener. At the time of its introduction, NutraSweet received rapid uptake because its tasted like sugar and toppled the chemical taste of saccharin, marketed as Sweet ‘n Low, the only sugar-substitute available. I was caught-up in the craze like everyone else, following the siren’s song of clever consumer ads by the NutraSweet Co. who in 1984 reportedly spent $30-$40 million on advertising.
I found myself searching out products with the red swirl NutraSweet logo at the supermarket. It was like a beacon guiding me to the “promised land” where I could have my cake and eat it too: Junk food without guilt, without calories, without consequence. Or so I thought.
Aspartame Causes Weight Gain
Here’s the double whammy: Sodas labeled as “diet” that contain the chemical aspartame are not going to help you lose weight. Quite the opposite, in fact: Aspartame makes you crave carbohydrates and eat more food resulting in weight gain. Add to that, aspartame appears to disturb the body’s ability to count calories, thus furthering the potential for weight gain.
This makes me wonder. I consumed a lot of Diet Coke (between one and three 2-liter bottles/week) and other aspartame-containing products between 1983 and 2003. I ended up gaining 145 pounds. While I do not think aspartame was the single cause of my massive weight gain, I wonder to what extent it was a contributing factor.
Health Consequences of Aspartame
The toxic long-term effects of aspartame are often dismissed as a “hoax” by the sweetener industry. As for me, I find the credible evidence presented in History of Aspartame, cited above, thoroughly unravels the alarming truth. Further, Evangelista on his medical and health fraud research website reveals what he calls the true story of aspartame and health “…aspartame is highly neurotoxic… resulting in injury and death.”
Evangelista goes on to write, “The various independent research completed on aspartame proves that, in part, aspartame was considered a chem-warfare agent, and is a powerful neurotoxin which interacts with, and interferes with, other prescription drug compounds and medications. It is unlike any other food additive compound on the market. Each of its three components is toxic in their own right, potentiating aspartame’s neurotoxicity.”
Evangelista’s claims are borne out in research conducted long after the hundreds of controversial studies conducted on aspartame prior to its approval. A study on the “direct and indirect cellular effects of aspartame on the brain” published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2008) states “…it is made up of three components that may have adverse effects on neural functioning…”
Likewise, the aspartame story has been described in the 1,038-page medical text Aspartame Disease – An Ignored Epidemic by H.J. Roberts, MD. Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills by neurosurgeon Russell Blaylock, M.D., also describes these problems. Dr. Betty Martini, D.Hum. founder of the consumer rights advocacy group, Mission Possible, wrote a watch dog report on FDA Studies Show Aspartame Link to Brain Tumors.
In the documentary film Sweet Misery, doctors and patients blow the whistle on aspartame.
The Bottom Line
Bottom line profits are said to be the culprit behind the aspartame conspiracy. And while this article in part may sound like conspiracy theory, at least consider the weight of evidence. Look at the true scientific facts and what was financially at stake. Look at the FDA proceedings and investigations. Then draw your own conclusion.
“Educate yourselves. It’s your body, your health, your life.” – Arthur Evangelista
Living life larger than ever,
My Bariatric Life