DAVIS (CBS13) – Aspartame, a sugar substitute, won’t make you fat despite what many people believe. That’s the result of a new international study headed by a nutrition biologist at UC Davis.

The study was done by 22 nutrition researchers who participated in the 2017 CrossFit Foundation Academic Conference. They concluded aspartame does not contribute to weight loss in adults. “If you go on the internet and look up aspartame, the layperson would be convinced that aspartame is going to make them fat, but it’s not,” said lead author Kimber Stanhope. “The long and short of it is that no human studies on noncaloric sweeteners show weight gain.”

More research is needed to determine whether the same holds true for saccharin, acesulfame K, and steviol glycosides.

However, the researchers agreed drinking sugar-sweetened beverages does increase the risk of cardiometabolic disease (cardiovascular disease and Type 2 diabetes) and can increase a person’s risk for obesity, regardless of the other foods and beverages a person consumes.

The research study is published in Obesity Reviews.