What’s wrong with soda? Everyone drinks it, right? But apparently we should think twice about that. Here’s the skinny on our beloved soda pop, first the problems in general and then a few additional problems specific to certain types of soda, namely caffienated and diet pop.
Health Problems from All Soda Pop
- It’s probably no surprise to you that soda pop has been linked to obesity and weight problems in general. The New York Health Department started a campaign to let people know that one soda a day equals 50 pounds of sugar each year! I don’t know about you, but I’m not looking to add another 50 pounds right now.
- Where there is obesity, it seems another problem that often crops up is diabetes. Soda has been shown to increase a person’s risk of developing type II diabetes, and of course it messes with those who already have diabetes.
- Suprisingly, if you drink even just one soda a day, you have a 50% higher chance of having metabolic syndrome, a major cause of heart-attacks. Scientists have been surprised to find out that even diet sodas contain the same risk. (Previously, it was assumed only sugar sodas contained the risk, but all sodas appear to be the same when it comes to metabolic syndrome.)
There are multiple reasons caffienated soda is bad for humans, but most concerning to me are these issues:
- Caffienated soda is associated with renal failure and kidney stones (not something any of us wants to experience), which is believed to be partially caused by the fact that caffiene pulls calcium from the bones
- Can increase risk of miscarriage and cause fertility problems
- Can aggravate heart problems and some behavioral problems
Diet soda contains the same risks as non-diet soda, with one extra: many of the artificial sweeteners used in diet sodas are unproven over time–some scientists have even suspected them of causing or contributing to cancer. For instance, acesulfame potassium, a sweetener often used in place of asparteme (because of health concerns about asparteme), has been shown to sometimes cause tumors or other brain damage.
So, what do we do? While no one’s suggesting you go cold turkey on your favorite fizz, it might be helpful to find some other favorite drinks that are healthy. Try mixing up a fresh juice, a low-sugar smoothie or even just a sparkling clear glass of water. I’m betting you’ll be glad you did. I’ve got one hand on the pop and the other on the garbage disposal right now. . . . Let’s hope my kids don’t find out.