With the help of some clever advertising and addictive flavors, sugar sodas have become a vice for so many people across the world. With many schools still opting to keep their sugary drink machines on campus, it’s no wonder that child obesity numbers continue to rise. However, it isn’t just about weight. Sodas, as well as other drinks with high sugar content, can also harm our health in a myriad of other ways.
There’s no denying that sugary drinks are one of the leading dietary causes of obesity and weight gain. This is mainly because sodas contain high amounts of added fructose. When consumed, fructose does not signal to the body when it is full, like glucose does, allowing you to consume excessive amounts without realizing it. In fact, the results of one study show that children who consume even one can of soda a day are 60% more likely to develop obesity.
We understand that having a sweet and refreshing drink is almost a necessity at times. Trust me, I used to drink plenty of soda growing up as well. As a replacement, I began with a switch to Arnold Palmers (lemonade and iced tea) and then eventually just green tea with a little honey and lemon. Just make a pitcher of it and keep it in your fridge for when you would usually crack open a can of Coke.
This is one of the more deadly consequences of drinking soda. Glucose, a form of energy that is preferred by your body, can be processed and used by all the cells in your body. Fructose, a key ingredient in table sugar, can only be processed by your liver. And with all the other toxins that are entering your body like alcohol and processed foods, it’s easy for a soda drinking habit to take it over the edge. When the liver is overloaded with fructose, it turns it into fat which can lead to fatty liver disease.
Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 Diabetes is one of the most prevalent diseases in the world, affecting millions of people each year. And whether we want to admit it or not, it’s plain to see that soda, one of the highest sugar content items you could possibly consume, is a major factor in this epidemic. Type 2 Diabetes is caused by heightened blood sugar due to an insulin deficiency. This insulin resistance or deficiency is caused by a consistently high intake of fructose.
One of the more unsightly consequences of drinking soda can be seen right in our teeth. Because of its highly acidic nature, soda can cause and accelerate decay in your teeth. Additionally, because of the sugar content, bacteria in your mouth are able to use this to multiply and infest in your mouth, causing diseases like gingivitis and painfully sensitive teeth. Parents should refrain from giving their children soda, as it can easily cause cavities early on in life, leading to uncomfortable symptoms and expensive dental visits.
While all the evidence points toward sodas being bad for our health, they will continue to be a major part of our society’s diet until the public is properly educated on the dangers of regular consumption. And it isn’t just sodas. Many fruit juices and sports drinks are also loaded with high-fructose corn syrup but cleverly advertised as healthy and good for the body. Although it is not as convenient, investing in a juicer and making your own refreshing drinks from organic fruit and vegetables can be even more delicious than a sugary soda.