A while back one of my kids asked me what the word "paradox" means. I explained that it's something that seems like it couldn't be true but is, or a situation that is the opposite of what you'd ordinarily think it would be.
At the time I couldn't think of a good example to illustrate the concept, but now I have one:
Researchers have found that zero-calorie artificial sweeteners like saccharine can actually make you fatter than if you had stuck with good, old-fashioned sugar.
In the study, done at Purdue University, "rats given saccharin-sweetened yogurt actually ate more and gained more weight than rats given regularly-sugared yogurt." The reason could be that the rats who ate saccharin never felt satisfied, which made them eat more, thereby getting more calories from the other ingredients in the yogurt.
What's more, the story I heard on the radio this morning about this study said that the saccharin-fed rats were also meaner than their sugar-fed counterparts.
So put down that diet soda, but don't reach for the sugary soda. Instead, brew up something even better—green tea.
Drink only when you need to get mean.