You may have promised yourself last week it would be a new year, new you, and then confusing information came out on artificial sweeteners and if they can help you shed pounds.

So we tried to simplify the research.

If you want a soft drink without the calories, no problem. Grocers have many choices for shoppers.

"I drink Diet Coke. I drink Diet Dr. Pepper. I exercise daily and I really try to watch my calories to maintain my weight," said a woman shopping at the grocery store.

We asked Dr. Henry Nuss about artificial sweeteners. He says they have been studied for cancer, obesity, weight loss and diabetes.

When baby boomers were growing up studies suggested that some artificial sweeteners might cause cancer. Today, there's absolutely no definitive proof that they do.

What about for obesity and weight loss?

"There is currently no definitive link between artificial sweeteners and obesity. In some studies, there was a correlation between artificial sweetener intake and weight gain and in some others it was weight loss," explained Dr. Henry Nuss, a Nutritional Sciences Assistant Professor in the school of Public Health at LSU Health Sciences Center.

That's because for some, the empty calories don't fill you up, so you eat more and gain weight. For others, you're replacing high calorie sugar drinks with zero-calorie drinks and lose weight. Evidence does show artificial sweeteners may change your good gut bacteria and lead to diabetes. So Dr. Nuss cautions diabetics to stay away from them.

"Who I would caution against consuming artificial sweeteners is people who are diabetic, because there's enough research that I've seen, to suggest that there may be some link, again I think it's dose dependent, but if you already have diabetes, or you're prediabetic, why take the additional risk."

And while research continues on artificial sweeteners, doctors know the American diet has too much refined, real sugar.

"Diabetes, obesity, hypertension, you name it, it's, it's not good. It's white poison," said Dr. Nuss.

And he says children should stay away from artificial sweeteners because there are no long term studies yet to see if there will be negative health impacts down the road.