The effect of sucrose- and aspartame-sweetened drinks on energy intake, hunger and food choice of female, moderately restrained eaters

Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 1997 Jan;21(1):37-42. doi: 10.1038/sj.ijo.0800360.


Objective: To compare the effects of aspartame-sweetened and sucrose-sweetened soft drinks on food intake and appetite ratings of female restrained eaters.

Subjects: Fourteen female students, shown to have eating restraint.

Methods: Subjects were given four drinks (330 ml) of aspartame-sweetened lemonade, sucrose-sweetened lemonade and carbonated mineral water on three separate days. Seven of the subjects were informed of the drink type they were consuming on each occasion.

Measurements: Appetite ratings were recorded and energy and macronutrient intakes were measured during the study day and day after leaving the department.

Results: During the first study day energy intake was lower whilst drinking the sucrose-sweetened lemonade compared with the aspartame-sweetened lemonade, although neither differed significantly from energy intakes during the day the drank water. When the calories from the sucrose-sweetened lemonade were included (1381 kJ, 330 Kcal) energy intake did not differ between treatments. The following day energy intake was significantly higher after the aspartame-sweetened lemonade compared with both sucrose-sweetened lemonade and the water due to an increase in the amount of carbohydrate consumed and resulted in a higher total energy intake over the two days studied. Knowledge of the drink types had no effect on energy intake or macronutrient intake. Appetite ratings did not differ between drinks and were not affected by knowledge of the drink types.

Conclusion: These results suggest that in females with eating restraint, substituting sucrose-sweetened drinks for diet drinks does not reduce total energy intake and may even result in a higher intake during the subsequent day.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Analysis of Variance
  • Aspartame / adverse effects
  • Aspartame / pharmacology*
  • Beverages*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Dietary Sucrose / pharmacology*
  • Eating / drug effects
  • Eating / physiology*
  • Energy Intake / drug effects
  • Energy Intake / physiology*
  • Female
  • Food Preferences / drug effects
  • Food Preferences / physiology
  • Humans
  • Hunger / drug effects
  • Hunger / physiology*
  • Nutritional Physiological Phenomena / physiology
  • Patient Selection
  • Sweetening Agents / adverse effects
  • Sweetening Agents / pharmacology*
  • Time Factors


  • Dietary Sucrose
  • Sweetening Agents
  • Aspartame