Consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages is often considered as a major contributor to the epidemic of overweight and obesity in the USA. The study tested the discriminability of sugar from aspartame in 14 commercially available carbonate soft drinks. In a double blind test, 55 students of Lawrence Technological University were asked to rate the taste of 14 beverages in terms of sweetness, likability, and to recognize if the drink contains sugar or aspartame. Ratings were made exclusively on the base of drink taste, as color and drink names were unknown to the subjects. Main results indicates that people, when tasting carbonated soft drinks, are not accurate at discriminating sugar from non-caloric sweeteners. Interestingly, however, they systemically prefer sugar without recognizing it. 

Dr. Franco Delogu - Assistant Professor of Psychology