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Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Are soft drinks hard for our health? -Part 1

From many days I was hearing about the side effects of soda consumption, but I was simply shocked after knowing the facts, that habit of drinking cola drinks can harm your health. As an educator and parent I want to share this piece of information to every person who is concerned about their health. I have tried to provide many articles links showing clear picture how this fashion or trend of drinking soft drinks is causing illness and giving us the “gifts” of many health related problems.

In today’s situation this awareness is more important, because use of cold drinks/soft drinks is increasing at a very significant level. And most of the parents don’t know how soft drinks can harm us, or could be a cause of multiple kinds of health hazards for our children.

These beverages have no significant nutritional value and only, providing lot calories, sugars and caffeine.

1- Now let’s look at some of the major components of a can of a soda:

• Phosphoric Acid: May interfere with the body's ability to use calcium, which can lead to osteoporosis or softening of the teeth and bones. Phosphoric acid also neutralizes the hydrochloric acid in your stomach, which can interfere with digestion, making it difficult to utilize nutrients.
• Sugar: Soft drink manufacturers are the largest single user of refined sugar in the United States. It is a proven fact that sugar increases insulin levels, which can lead to high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, diabetes, weight gain, premature aging and many more negative side effects. Most sodas include over 100 percent of the RDA of sugar.
• Aspartame: This chemical is used as a sugar substitute in diet soda. There are over 92 different health side effects associated with aspartame consumption including brain tumors, birth defects, diabetes, emotional disorders and epilispsy/seizures. Further, when aspartame is stored for long periods of time or kept in warm areas it changes to methanol, an alcohol that converts to formaldehyde and formic acid, which are known carcinogens.
• Caffeine: Caffeinated drinks cause jitters, insomnia, high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, elevated blood cholesterol levels, vitamin and mineral depletion, breast lumps, birth defects, and perhaps some forms of cancer.
• Tap Water: I recommend that everyone avoid drinking tap water because it can carry any number of chemicals including chlorine, trihalomethanes, lead, cadmium, and various organic pollutants. Tap water is the main ingredient in bottled soft drinks.
Soda is one of the main reasons, nutritionally speaking, why many people suffer health problems. Aside from the negative effects of the soda itself, drinking a lot of soda is likely to leave you with little appetite for vegetables, protein and other food that your body needs.

Source article:
The Real Dangers of Soda to You and Your Children

2- “According to a study recently published in the American Journal of Public Health, Teenagers who drink more soda have more mental health difficulties, including hyperactivity and mental distress.

Researchers used questionnaires to survey 5,547 Norwegian 10th graders about their eating and soda-drinking habits, as well as hyperactivity and conduct problems in school, and mental health indicators such as anxiousness, dizziness, hopelessness, panic, sadness, sleeplessness, tension, and unhappiness with themselves and a sense that everything is a burden.

They found that the teenagers who drank the most soda (an average of four or more glasses a day) scored highest on measures of behavioral difficulties, hyperactivity, mental distress and overall mental health problems.

Norway has the highest rate of carbonated soft drink consumption in the world, with an average of more than 30 gallons per person per year. Among the teenagers surveyed in the study, 45 percent of boys and 21 percent of girls drink one or more glasses of soda daily.

Because the study only looked at correlation, the exact reason for the link between soda intake and mental distress is not clear. The researchers pointed out that children with high soda consumption are more likely to skip meals and eat less nutrient-dense foods than children with lower consumption, thus making them more likely to develop nutritional deficiencies. Other potential culprits are sugar and caffeine.

"These findings make a strong comment about the need to make soft drinks less available in schools, homes and events for kids," said lead researcher Lars Lien. "Together with all the other compelling evidence of detrimental effects of sugar, I think the evidence from this study strengthens the call to make changes as a society."

Nutritionist Mike Adams, author of The Five Soft Drink Monsters, a book that teaches people how to kick the soda habit, said, "It is very clear that diet strongly impacts mood, mental function and behavior. Drinking liquid sugars or artificial chemical sweeteners is much like poison to the human body, and it causes an imbalance in the functioning of the body and mind."

Adams added, "Most children diagnosed with ADHD are actually suffering from severe nutritional imbalances that can be easily corrected through changes in diet."

Source of article:
News target

3 - Results of a survey suggest:

The researchers note that soda consumption among children and adolescents rose 41% between 1989-1991 and 1994-1995, mostly displacing milk and juice, the leading sources of many vitamins and minerals in the American diet.
The results are based on data from more than 4,000 children aged 2 to 17 years.
Among children aged 2 to 5:
• 75% drank milk
• 53% drank juice
• 34% drank soda
In those aged 12 to 17:
• 63% of boy and 49% of girls drank milk
• 34% drank juice
• 68% of boys and 63% of girls drank soda
Soda drinkers were less likely to get the recommended levels of:
• vitamin A
• calcium
• magnesium
Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine November, 2000; 154: 1148-1152

4- Kids are heavy consumers of soft drinks, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and they are guzzling soda pop at unprecedented rates.
Fifty-six percent of 8-year-olds down soft drinks daily, and a third of teenage boys drink at least three cans of soda pop per day.
• And what happens if you drink a lot of them at a very young age?
Nearly everyone by now has heard the litany on the presumed health effects of soft drinks:
• Obesity
• Tooth decay
• Caffeine dependence
• Weakened bones

But Is really cola so bad for our childrens?

Look for part 2 of this articles.

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