Choosing diet soda and other non-caloric artificially sweetened food and drinks may not be a healthy way to lose weight after all, a new review has found.

Purdue University psychological sciences professor Susan E. Swithers evaluated the most recent research on whether sweeteners cause overeating or gaining weight.

One study found that people who drank artificially sweetened soda were more likely to gain weight than those who drank non-diet soda. Another found that those who drank diet soda were twice as likely to develop metabolic syndrome, which is a precursor to cardiovascular disease, than those who did not.

The American Beverage Association dismissed the report, saying it was an opinion piece, not a scientific study. Low-calorie sweeteners are effective tools for weight loss, the Association said.

Swithers' review was published online by Trends in Endocrinology and Metabolism.

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