Do artificial sweeteners make you gain weight?

Dr. Jennifer Ashton appears live on "GMA" to discuss a new study that links artificial sweeteners to weight gain.
3:10 | 07/17/17

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Transcript for Do artificial sweeteners make you gain weight?
Now she got shy. Funny, mom was mortified her beautiful child is making noise and we're over there going, it's okay. It's okay. Come one, come all. This isn't the all England club. You can do what you want. We'll move on now because we'll talk about a "Gma" health alert. New questions about something so many put in their cups of coffee every morning. Millions use artificial sweeteners to avoid the calories and real sure but a new study is raising questions about whether they could make you gain weight and that's why our senior medical contribute Jen Ashton is here. This was really -- this study sought to answer the question do these non-newt tri tiff sweeteners tippally zero calories do what they're supposed to do for the number on the scale. Do they lower weight? Do they lower body mass index or circumference. Some suggest they could do the opposite so this particular report looked at 37 study, crunched all the data which had limitations because of the methodology but basically interesting findings. In the short term which was about six months they found no reduction in weight or body mass index and in the long term, about an average of 10 year, they could actually increase our weight, increase our body mass index and increase our weight circumference all of which putting us at risk for heart disease. What was shown to result in weight loss. That's the million dollar questioned. Based on the data clearly portion control works but it's instinctive when you're trying to drop weight to say, let me cut calories and really this might not be all it's cracked up to be. Portion control works. Diets in general, lean protein, high fruit, vegetables. You have a degree in nutrition. How do sweeteners and sugar react in our body. They get heated and defensive of their particular type of sweetness, right. Their sugar and artificial sweetener. We know from things called functional mris in the brain whether it's good old table sugar or agave or honey or ten with a chemical name it lights up the reward center and what does that do? It makes us eat more, want more and we get into that vicious cycle in the gut and mouth there are subtle profile differences between different types of sugar, but ultimately they can all increase our waistline. Tell us -- you hang in there, baby. You just hang in there. Momma, you too. Don't you worry about it. Don't you worry about a thing. Sugar. We'll keep the baby away from sugar. What are your suggestions? I think everyone has to find what works for them. If you have a sweet tooth and there's evidence that's genetically imprinted on us as early as when we're had utero. Do you have a sweet tooth. Yes, because of my sister and the bone marrow transplant I have one. Really. I didn't before but I do. You have to feed it. Trying to taper down and all should be aware of our sugar I recommend a gradual slow taper so let's say you put two teaspoons of something in your coffee go to with you, go to a half and slower taper down, maximum 25 grams a day for women, added sugar for men, it's 37. Sugar is everywhere. It's everywhere. In this fruit but it's natural. So that's -- I'll give this to the baby after I take a bite. Already. Jen, thank you very much.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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