Adults’ weight and obesity concerns have spawned the entire “diet food” industry. Recently some animal data suggests that young animals fed diet food tend to overeat regular food. The study authors who published their findings in the medical journal Obesity then extrapolated this to suggest that children who eat diet foods (diet sodas, diet snacks) may tend to overeat regular food, partly because diet foods may disrupt their ability to associate different tastes with the usual amount of calories in the non-diet version.
I think this conclusion is flawed because you are literally making a humanized assumption from non-human models; if you are a regular reader you will know I usually do not look kindly on scientists jumping to conclusions in man based on what they saw in animals (the only exception may be looking at drug toxicity and poisons, where ethically you may not test in humans). Still, children shouldn’t be fed diet foods to begin with, because of the chemical substitutes for sugar and fats that have not been tested for long term safety in children. Press Release from Study Lead Author.