GOOD DAY FOR: The real thing, after a new study showed that rats fed saccharine gained more weight than those on a diet of sugar. The researchers said the artificial sweetener apparently did not trigger a sugar-induced response in the body to burn calories. “The causes of obesity are multifactorial,” said dietician Beth Hubrich with the low-calorie industry’s Calorie Control Council. (Los Angeles Times, free registration)
BAD DAY FOR: Losing gracefully, after Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez threatened to withhold oil shipments to the U.S. if Exxon Mobil acts on its court victory freezing Venezuelan oil assets. Venezuela is the U.S.’s fourth largest oil importer, but the U.S. is oil-dependent Venezuela’s largest customer. “Obviously Exxon is going to have the last laugh,” said oil analyst Fadel Gheit. (The Washington Post, free registration)