“Carbonated soft drinks account for more than 27 percent of Americans’ beverage consumption.” (Liquid Candy — How Soft Drinks are Harming Americans’ Health — Michael F. Jacobson, Ph.D. )
This is an amazing statistic, that is a huge percentage. And it is negatively affecting our nation’s health.
Many people feel that these drinks are safe and no big deal. However, the evidence is out there showing the harm that these beverages cause. Despite the research, the companies making these drinks often promote them as “good” choices for our diet.
The soft-drink industry has consistently portrayed its products as being positively healthful, saying they are 90% water and contain sugars found in nature.
A poster that the National Soft Drink Association provided to teachers in the past stated:
As refreshing sources of needed liquids and energy, soft drinks represent a positive addition to a well-balanced diet… These same three sugars also occur naturally, for example, in fruits… In your body it makes no difference whether the sugar is from a soft drink or a peach. (National Soft Drink Assoc. “Soft Drinks and Nutrition.” Washington, DC)
Also, look at this comment made by M. Douglas Ivester, Coca-Cola’s chairman and CEO, defending marketing in Africa, who said:
Actually, our product is quite healthy. Fluid replenishment is a key to health… Coca-Cola does a great service because it encourages people to take in more and more liquids. (New York Times. May 26, 1998, p.D1)
In fact, soft drinks pose health risks both because of what they contain (for example, sugar and various additives) and what they replace in the diet (beverages and foods that provide vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients). (Liquid Sugar Report)
A typical 12 ounce soft drink contains about 10 teaspoonsful of sugar. This is a large pile of sugar that most of us are drinking thoughtlessly every day!
There are many dangers to our health that we expose ourselves to when we drink soda and other sweetened drinks. Here are some of the striking facts:
• The preponderance of scientific evidence shows that consumption of sugar drinks promotes weight gain.
• Caloric beverages contribute to weight gain more than solid foods because the body doesn’t compensate fully for beverage calories by reducing calorie intake later in the day.
• Adults who drink one sugary drink or more per day are 27 percent more likely to be overweight or obese than non-drinkers, regardless of income or ethnicity.
• Drinking one sugar-sweetened beverage per day is associated with an 18 percent increase in the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Sugar-sweetened beverages were linked to a higher risk of diabetes even after accounting for their impact on weight.
• Consuming one or more sodas per day increases one’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 26 percent compared to those who rarely consume such drinks.
• Diabetes is the seventh-leading cause of death in the United States.
• Diabetes can result in various health complication such as heart disease, stroke, blindness, kidney failure, and premature death.
We are facing a diabetes epidemic right now — and our consumption of these deadly drinks is a huge contributor!
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease:
• Daily consumption of sugary drinks for a period of six months increased fat deposits in the liver by 150 percent, which directly contributes to both diabetes and heart disease.
• Consumption of sugary drinks — especially more acidic carbonated drinks — promotes dental caries and erosion.
• In fact, for each additional sugary drink consumed per day, children may be at a 22 percent increased risk of developing dental caries.
• Untreated cavities can lead to pain, infection, and tooth loss.
• Consuming two or more sugar-sweetened beverages per day is associated with a 35 percent increased risk of coronary heart disease in women. A related study in men found a similar sugar drink–heart disease link.
(These stats are all from a 2017 report at https://cspinet.org/resource/facts-health-risks-sugar-drinks).
If all you did was stop drinking soft drinks, or any sugary drink — you would take a huge step forward in your health. You will most likely lose weight and you will become healthier!
You can start by increasing your water intake and slowly, or cold turkey stop drinking these beverages. Try drinking water, sparkling water, teas, coffee – don’t add sugar!
If you don’t like water then try flavoring your water with slices of berries, cucumber, mint leaves, cinnamon or another favorite spice!
Here’s a creative ‘commercial’ hoping to change our soft drink consumption.
A collaboration with Alex Bogusky, Lumenati, and Daughters & Howard, this video appropriates Coca-Cola’s legendary “Hilltop” ad and features real people suffering from real soda-related diseases.