Seems so, Sam. Research increasingly shows that sugar substitutes fail to do their job—that is, prevent obesity and diabetes, says Mass General Hospital’s Richard Hodin, M.D. Case in point: Hodin’s latest study found that, in the stomach, aspartame actually blocks an intestinal enzyme that helps protect us from gaining weight. 

And it’s not just aspartame. Multiple studies show that, across the board, sugar substitutes tend to promote obesity, plump up belly fat, and, basically, keep you fat. Hodin’s advice: Stick to water.

Don't like the taste of plain water? Try these 6 healthy alternatives to tap water that taste great.