London: If you think sprinkling that packet of Equal or Splenda over foods or beverages may help you shed extra pounds, then you may be wrong. A new statement by the American Heart Association and the American Diabetes Association has claimed that replacing regular sugar with artificial sweeteners won't always make you thin.

The study behind it says that substituting fake sweeteners into your diet can help you reduce your intake of calories and sugar, both major culprits of obesity.

But there is 'limited and inconclusive' evidence that artificial sweeteners help consumers lose weight in the long run, New York daily reported.

Those small bags of Nutrasweet and Truvia "are not magic bullets" against extra body-baggage, said Christopher Gardner, the main author of the study.

Artificial sweeteners only work when consumers don't "overcompensate." Which basically means: don't throw away all those precious calories you've saved by drinking a diet soda only to eat a chocolate-chip cookie and a chili-cheese dog.

People do this more often than you'd think, and the study said it happens more often with foods containing artifical sugar than with beverages.

For years, websites across the Internet have criticized America's range of fake sweeteners, going so far as to claim that they can in fact cause obesity because of the chemical changes they produce in the body.

"The sweeteners that people use to lose weight are actually causing them to not only gain weight, but to make weight loss efforts extremely difficult," the website MomsWhoThink.com argues.

The Sugar Association's "Truth About Splenda" page urges viewers to "take action to inform your family and friends about the realities concerning the chlorinated artificial sweetener Splenda."

And warnings about the dangers of the chemical Aspartame in artificial sweeteners can be found across YouTube, where users like Dr. Nordquist have uploaded videos claiming that "there are over 92 different health side-effects associated with aspartame consumption, killing over 300,000 people every year."

(Agencies)

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