Consuming aspartame with and without taste: differential effects on appetite and food intake of young adult males

Physiol Behav. 1993 Mar;53(3):459-66. doi: 10.1016/0031-9384(93)90139-7.


Despite some reports that aspartame (APM)-sweetened beverages may increase subjective appetite, previously we demonstrated that drinking 280 ml of an APM-sweetened soft drink (170 mg APM) had no effect on appetite, and 560 ml of the same soft drink (340 mg APM) reduced appetite. The present study examined this appetite reduction to determine its cause. Eighteen normal weight young adult males received five treatments (beverage preloads) at 1100 h in a randomized order, one per week: 280 ml of carbonated mineral water (CMW) (control), 560 ml of CMW, 280 ml of CMW with 340 mg of encapsulated APM, 280 ml of CMW sweetened with 340 mg APM, 560 ml of an APM-sweetened soft drink (340 mg APM). Subjective hunger and food appeal were measured from 0930 a.m. to 1230 h, and food intake from a buffet lunch offered at 1205 h was measured. Treatment had no effect on food intake or macronutrient selection. Both 560 ml of CMW or soft drink suppressed appetite, although 280 ml of APM-sweetened mineral water significantly increased subjective appetite relative to the control. Encapsulated APM had no effect on appetite. Therefore, appetite reduction following consumption of an APM-sweetened drink is likely due to drink volume and not the APM content. In addition, consuming APM-sweetened CMW produces a short-term increase in subjective appetite.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Appetite / drug effects*
  • Aspartame / pharmacology*
  • Eating / drug effects*
  • Food Preferences / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Hunger / drug effects
  • Male
  • Satiety Response / drug effects
  • Taste / drug effects*


  • Aspartame