Here’s my theory: artificial sweeteners affect the body the same way as the real stuff.
Although your taste buds may think a sucralose-flavored beverage tastes sweet, your brain is not stimulated the same way. Nobody knows for sure what difference this makes, but one theory is that it dials down your metabolism; The body tries to adjust to the lack of “oomph” coming from the sweet taste by slowing the fat burning process.
Mainstream, legitimate scientific organizations that study these things will tell you that FDA-approved artificial sweeteners are safe and I believe them. But even if it doesn’t cause cancer, that doesn’t mean that they don’t have an effect on the body. For example, Aspartame has been shown to dull spatial awareness and cause decreased insulin sensitivity in mice. People with the rare genetic disease Phenylketonuria (PKU) are warned to stay away from the stuff. So I’m not convinced that it’s entirely without any effects on the rest of us.
I’m going to study this more, but meanwhile I’m sticking to real food.