A couple cans of soda may not be enough to kill one person in an instant. However, there is a growing body of evidence that links obesity and other related diseases such as diabetes ands fatty liver disease to the consumption of soft drinks.
There is no better time to look into this issue than now, when the fixation on fast food type of fare has been a health concern that our nation has persistently grappled with. It is a sad reality that the average American household stock up on more junk food than health products. This makes today’s generation accustomed to more sugary beverages than vitamin-filled ones.
In an article titled Kids and Caffeine: An Unhealthy Combo published in the Family Education website, health experts warn that the effects of soft drinks on a child’s growth and development are underestimated.
Arizona State University Director for Health Mary Rimsca has denounced soft drinks as having no nutritional value. As a spokesperson for the American Academy of Pediatrics, she advised parents to be mindful of that fact, adding that soft drinks can cause sleep problems, irritability, and stomach upset.
Children, once introduced to soft drinks, have a much harder time than adults to kick the soda habit as they are less equipped to deal with addiction. Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) Executive Director Michael Jacobson has confirmed caffeine’s addictive properties. “Twenty years ago, teens drank twice as much milk as soda pop. Now they drink twice as much soda pop as milk.”
This trend is definitely not a good sign. Soft drinks contain phosphoric acid, the ingredient responsible for the carbonation in soft drinks and its distinct “bite”, gets in the way of calcium absorption. “We are starting to see increases in incidents of osteoporosis at a young age. It’s just beginning to come out in studies,” added Rimsca.
Similarly, soft drinks are hard on adults’ health. In a new Israeli study by physician Dr. Nimer Assy, he went on the record to say that people who drink more than one liter, which is roughly equivalent to four cups, of soft drinks a day have a greater risk of developing fatty liver by up to 5 percent.
As reported in the Journal of Hepatology, his findings cite that heavy intake of soft drinks cause long-term damage, also contributing to heart disease and diabetes. Diet sodas, a more popular choice for those who watch their weight, are not exempt.
Assy is convinced that soft drinks that boast sugar-free content yet load up on artificial sweeteners may produce similar effects. Diet sodas do not have fructose but they do have additives such as aspartame and caramel colorants. “Both these can increase insulin resistance and may induce fatty liver,” he claimed.
Judging from these studies, it is best to stay away from soft drinks as much as possible. Children should be discouraged from consuming these types of drinks to avoid potential addiction. Surveys have found that parents are the premier role models for their kid’s eating habits, not so much their peers. Parents who consume soft drinks on a regular basis will have a higher likelihood of being lenient when it comes to junk food restrictions for their children.
One of the most important and simplest health choices you can make is eliminate all types of soft drinks in your diet. Water as a permanent replacement can have a strong positive impact on your health and your family’s.