"If you're consuming beverages without calories and [you're] not getting fullness from sugar-sweetened beverages, you could be priming the brain to want to eat more," she tells HuffPost. "That’s one of the limitations of artificial sweeteners: In the long term, it could stimulate appetite, versus provide a benefit in the sense they're reducing calorie intake ... Over time, it's not helping the brain get over wanting sugar."
If you're really trying to lose weight or eat healthier, Katz said the better way to do so is to "rehabilitate" your taste buds by cutting out hidden sugar in foods like salad dressings, pasta sauces and crackers, so that you're more sensitive to sweetness and thereby prefer less.
And as the article sums up, we really don't know the long-term affects artificial sweeteners will have on our health. But diet sodas and artificial sweeteners are no longer the "safe" choice--not that they ever were. No one *needs* soda in our diets, but it's something that used to be a rare treat and has transformed into a regular part of our lives.