How Sweet It Isn't

If artificial sugar is so splendid, why aren't we thin?

The scene could have passed for a paid advertisement: a barista at a New York City coffee bar informed a customer that the café had run out of Splenda, the sugar substitute in the bright yellow packets. To the customer, it was tantamount to betrayal. "Are you very sure?" he asked, offering to settle for Equal or Sweet'n Low. But all that was left was sugar. The man shook his head (sugar!), pushed his cup back across the counter and demanded a refund.

It's a sentiment echoed by millions of Americans who are fanatical about getting their sweets--just as long as...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!