Are (almost) all fat people "allergic" to artificial sweeteners?

The other day I offered a (morbidly obese) acquaintance a diet soda. He held up his hands in a very dramatic rejection pose and said that he would “never dream of” drinking diet-anything. “I’m allergic”, he said.


Come to think of it, almost every fat person I’ve ever known has made this same claim.

Of course I’m sure there are some fat people who are not/do not claim to be “allergic” to artificial sweeteners, but I’ve never met one.

What’s the SD on this? Is there a correlation here? Are some of these folks fat because they eat/drink way too much sugar, whereas if they chose the diet stuff, they’d be thinner?

Does obesity trigger a craving for real sugar, which spenda does not satisfy?

My WAG is that they don’t like the taste and just refuse to adapt their taste buds. When I first tried diet soda I didn’t care for the taste, but I got used to it and now I think it tastes great. “Real” soda tastes sickly-sweet and syrupy to me.

Anyway, just wondering what the deal is with obesity vs diet soda.

I’m not quite “morbidly” obese, but not as far from it as I’d like.

And I drink things with artificial sweetener and have yet to suffer an allergic reaction.

Some people do claim to have adverse reactions to aspartame but this has never been proven. I’ve certainly never heard anyone claim to have an allergy to any artificial sweetener.

Your friend is most likely full of hooey. If he truly cannot have artificial sweeteners, then he should NOT be drinking sweetened drinks instead (nobody should, but us larger-than-life folks especially!!).

Personally, I drink plain old water 99% of the time.

I’m fat and I’m not allergic to any kind of fake sugar. It’s possible your friend has an allergy, but odds are he was just being melodramatic because he doesn’t like artificial sweetners.

I’m a big gal. A tenth of a ton of fat and fun. I’m not allergic to anything. I do not like the way foods with Splenda in them taste. My husband sometimes buys things without too much attention to the lable. He buys what’s on sale. Occasionally some variety of yogurt will be on sale that’s got Splenda in it. I don’t pay any more attention to the label than he does and if I tuck into one I notice right away that it has that Splenda taste I don’t like. He insists he cannot taste a difference.

Many of my friends and relatives are anywhere from zaftig to lardasses. I’ve never ever heard any of them claim to be allergic. We’ve read in restaurant threads that a lot of people will clain to be allergic to something they simply don’t like.

Please don’t be surprised if this thread doesn’t go the way you expect it to.

Oh, and I also drink water almost exclusively.

Yes, I am wondering if “almost every fat person” that Gruntled knows is the one in the OP because I have never heard this one before. In fact, the *obese person who goes to McD’s orders two Big Macs, a large fries, and a DIET SODA?? *trope seems much more common.

Nah, they’re fat because they drink regular sodas, instead of diet.

I have nothing to add, except to say I love your candor. :slight_smile:

I’ve never seen anyone claim to be allergic to fake sweetener, even people who claim allergies to other common foods they don’t like. And yes, claiming to be allergic to stuff is a very, very common dodge for getting out of people expecting you to eat stuff you don’t like. FTR, all the fat people I know drink diet soda.

People are, by and large, fat because they eat/drink more calories than they burn. How closely this correlates with sugar consumption depends on your individual diet. If you’re going through a case of sugared soda a day, switching to diet is going to cause weight loss assuming all other things remain equal. If you go through a case of sugared soda a month, it’s not going to make a notable difference.

Being fat does not, to my knowledge, cause sugar cravings. People who have sugar cravings do tend to be fat, but I think the fatness is the effect rather than the cause. And, of course, eating sugar tends to make you crave more sugar.

Your fat friends are remarkably monolithic in their beliefs.

I don’t drink much soda either way, and I am indifferent to saccharine and aspartame (I can tell the difference but will drink diet soda on occasion). However, anything with Splenda or any sugar alcohols in it will rush through my alimentary canal like there’s a prize at end of the trip that must be claimed within 10 minutes. I understand that this is not uncommon – maybe your friend had a bad experience with sugar alcohols. I also believe that unlike the other fake sugars, Splenda will actually cause an insulin spike. I’ve been reading to read up on the medical literature on this kind of stuff (the relation between obesity and insulin regulation), but haven’t gotten around to it yet. Suffice to say I don’t think there’s a study proving that the morbidly obese are more prone to lying than the rest of the BMI scale.

I am about 10-15 pounds overweight, if it matters to you.

Well, I’m just stating the facts, good sir. :stuck_out_tongue:

In fairness, I have heard quite a few people claim serious allergies to aspartame. I’ve heard stories of people saying that their vision was PERFECT, then they ate some aspartame, and now they are legally blind (ok, not that bad, but basically that). Or they regularly get horrific headaches and it only happens when they have some aspartame. Stuff like that.

I’m not saying I believe any of that, of course, just saying I’ve heard people say it.

I’ve not heard anyone make the claim.

I’m pretty sure I’m allergic to saccharine & aspertame. I get hives on my tongue when I have them & my throat gets all itchy. It doesn’t cause any breathing problems, so I guess it’s a pretty mild allergy.
As to being fat, I’m 5’7" and 137 lbs.

I’m zaftig and a “super taster.” I hate everything with artificial flavor, especially sweetener. All I taste are the chemicals and not the sweet.

That said, I freely admit that my extra pounds are due to milk (2%, which I drink too much of) and other rich foods – not sweet drinks.

I know lots of fat people, most of whom drink a lot of diet soda, so I have no idea where the OP is coming from. In fact, the only people I can think of that I know drink regular soda are thin.

I hate the taste of artificial sweeteners, too, so I usually drink water or club soda with a little fruit juice. I don’t like to waste too many of my daily calories on my drinks. ETA: Forgot to say that I have actually found two diet sodas I don’t hate - diet ginger ale and Fresca.

Fried Dough Ho, there are some studies that are saying that dairy products actually help people lose weight. I mean, not if you eat two pounds of cheese a day, but in moderation. :slight_smile:

I believe that FDH had mentioned that a gallon or so a day was likely with her milk habit…

I don’t care about diet or non diet, but I am not a habitual sodapop drinker…

I have never heard anyone, EVER, claim to be allergic to either one, however.

Most fat folks I know do drink diet, but when I think about it, being fat, I would rather drink regular for the more naturally sweet taste…

I will definitely get butter and add extra in the middle on my movie popcorn.

I would rather have the extra calories if I am going to the theatre. I won’t eat popcorn anywhere else.

Not only have I never heard any fat person make that claim, but all of the fat people I’ve been around don’t make a big deal one way or another. I’m not big on the taste of artificial sweeteners, but I get around that by not (or very rarely) drinking soda and doing the vast majority of my cooking with whole, fresh ingredients.

Doesn’t anyone drink just plain water anymore?

I’m the fattest person you know (hello!) and I have no aversion to artificial sweeteners. None of them make me ill in any form, except for the gastronomical upset of various sugar alcohol mixes (I’m looking at you, Propel!) That’s not an allergy, that’s how the stuff works.

As far as I know, my family - the fattest family you know (hello!) - uses plenty of artificial sweeteners to no ill effect.

But, to be honest, I could not stand diet pop until I completely gave up sugar for a while. Once I did that, diet pop tasted great and now that’s all I drink when I drink pop. I can totally empathize with people who don’t like the taste of artificial sweeteners. Like your friends, who are liars.

I suspect people use the allergic excuse to put an end to the discussion.