A new research has linked artificial sweeteners to long-term weight gain and increased risk of obesity. The findings contradict the previous findings that claimed artificial sweeteners don’t cause extra weight gain and potential health harm. It showed that artificial sweeteners or non-nutritive sweeteners may have negative effects on metabolism, gut bacteria and appetite. Artificial sweeteners are substitutes for sugar that provides a sweet taste like that of sugar while containing significantly less food energy. According to the researchers at University of Manitoba in Canada, individuals consuming artificial sweeteners, such as aspartame, sucralose and stevia, may also be at risk of developing high blood pressure and heart disease. People are increasingly consuming artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, sucralose and stevia, which are widespread in food and drinks including diet soda, yogurt and baked goods. They said the use of artificial sweeteners is linked with the current epidemic of obesity and related diseases.For the study, the team conducted randomised controlled trials involving 1,003 people followed for six months on average. The trials did not show a consistent effect of artificial sweeteners on weight loss, and the longer observational studies showed a link between consumption of artificial sweeteners and relatively higher risks of weight gain and obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease and other health issues. “We found that data from clinical trials do not clearly support the intended benefits of artificial sweeteners for weight management,” said Ryan Zarychanski, assistant professor at the University of Manitoba. “Caution is warranted until the long-term health effects of artificial sweeteners are fully characterized,” added Meghan Azad, assistant professor, at the University.