COPY-Sugar Free Foods Making You Fat?

Some sugar free foods could be making you fat. A new study is linking artificial sweeteners to the nation's obesity epidemic. Sweet & low, Equal and Splenda are all things you use to replace sugar in your diet. They help you cut calories, but they may not be helping you lose weight, according to a study done on rats. While not all doctors and nutritionists are buying into it, one East Texan says you should. She says she's living proof sugar free foods could make you fat.

"I've never been on a diet in my life," says Kathy Huckaby who claims managing her weight isn't difficult. "I eat basically what I want," she says. In the last two years she's lost 45 pounds. "I just gave up my cokes at lunch and started drinking water," says Kathy. She refuses to drink anything with sugar or artificial sweeteners in it. She attributes all of her weight loss to that one change, and a recent scientific study adds some weight to her theory. Scientists have found that artificial sweeteners may actually sabotage your diet by making you crave more calories. In the study done at Purdue University, rats were given artificial sweeteners for three weeks. Then the rats were given their regular food. The rats who ate the artificial sweeteners consumed three times more food than the ones who just ate regular sugar.

"You adapt your taste buds to that sort of taste so you get used to that and you crave it and you have to maintain getting that sugar intake," says clinical dietitian and diabetes educator Regina Dick. She says the study doesn't suggest something in the artificial sweeteners are causing the weight gain, but that they may feed your addiction to sweets, causing you to eat more.

"I feel better. I have more energy. I want to do things all the time, " claims Kathy. It's something she finds a lot sweeter than any food or drink she's given up.

Michelle Mortensen, reporting.