Obesity is becoming a serious health issue not only in the West, but also creeping slowly in the East. Regardless of the nature of these drinks even the non-carbonated beverages such as iced tea, fruit drinks imitating juices and so on add thousands upon thousands of calories to your diet. Many people underestimate the importance of these when it comes to weight gain. But this article is about their more popular cousin – the carbonated soft drinks. Whether its some sort of cola, energy drink or fruity cola they are the worst offender and source of calories in the Western diet. Thirteen percent of the calorie intake of teenagers is said to come from carbonated and non-carbonated soft drinks.
The most dangerous aspect of soft drinks is the amount of sugars present in them that adds to an individual’s diet. These are mostly in the form of refined sugar or high-fructose corn syrup. So next time you give your child a soda pop or its international equivalent, consider this: You are giving them 15 teaspoons of sugar a day and that is extremely close to the limit roughly recommended by most health organizations. The over consumption of these beverages has pushed other, more healthy ones out of the diet of children and teenagers around the world. Reportedly years ago they used to drink much more milk tan they do today. Nowadays the heavy soft drink consumption is linked to the lower intake of vital vitamins, minerals and the much-needed dietary fiber.
Soft drinks contain the so-called “empty calories” which are key many health problems, chief among which is obesity. Elevated blood sugar levels are closely linked to type 2 diabetes risks, which for the first time in many decades is becoming a serious risk for teenagers and sometimes even children. The extra weight you or your children are packing will contribute to problems such as heart attacks, gallstones, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, coronary artery disease and sleep apnea.
The frequent consumption of soft drinks holds an elevated risk of developing osteoporosis, especially if your habits are combined with insufficient calcium intake through milk or other sources. Dentists do their best to encourage people to drink less soda to prevent tooth decay and dental erosion. Soft drinks have sugars and acids which greatly contribute to these, creating the perfect conditions for such issues. The caffeine present within much of the soft drinks is already known to be mildly addictive. It is also known to help in the expelling of calcium from the body. Due to allergies some food colorings can used in soft drinks can promote problems such as asthma, hives and allergic reactions in children or individuals.
The main reason for the heavy consumption of soft drinks is the extensive, massive advertisement campaign used by the companies making them. Rarely there are places where you can’t find carbonated soft drinks around the world – restaurants, gas stations, museums, stores, vending machines and even schools are all targets for the commercial industry. Several states in the US have managed to ban the sales of soft drinks on school premises, however that doesn’t really help the overall picture by much.
We are seeing an increased production of diet soft drinks instead, containing fake sugar and sugar substitutes. Those however are not much better either with products such as sucralose and aspartame being the leading danger. They offer the taste of sugar while at the same time being dangerous because of their own qualities. Products such as those using sucralose are created using a process of chlorination, thus possibly being carcinogenic by nature. No long-term tests have been performed in a similar fashion to how the problem of tobacco was approached a long time ago. Profit is taking over logic and the scientific attempt to find the truth. Aspartame is no better, being maneuvered into position through careful, clever corporate backstabbing by falsifying reports and the use of attorneys at every turn. Aspartame is said to be investigated for possible claims of being a carcinogen as well as being responsible for other neural diseases and issues.
So where do we go from here? You should avoid products containing high levels of sugars and fake sugars, instead sticking to natural sweeteners. Agave nectar, raw honey and unrefined brown sugar should be used sparingly as a replacement for the sugar intake we are used to. Using these and gradually bringing down our excessive need for sugar will help us lose weight to manageable levels.