In researching the dangers of soda, you will find an array of reasons not to drink it, which include weight gain and obesity, diabetes, weakened bones and risk for osteoporosis, dental issues, kidney damage, increased blood pressure, contributor to heartburn, impaired digestion, dehydration, excessive caffeine intake, toxins from aspartame, and so on.
In 2001, PreventDisease.com took aim at four key "soda targets," in order to separate the fact from fiction, specifically in relation to our kids, who are guzzling soda at unprecedented rates.
- Obesity: The report shows that "a team of Harvard researchers presented the first evidence linking soft drink consumption to childhood obesity." They found that "schoolchildren who drank soft drinks consumed almost 200 more calories per day than their counterparts who didn't down soft drinks."
- Tooth decay: The report states, "numerous studies –– using children and adults –– have shown a direct link between tooth decay and soft drinks." They also noted "sugar isn't the only ingredient in soft drinks that causes tooth problems, "the acids in soda pop are also notorious for etching tooth enamel in ways that can lead to cavities."
- Caffeine dependence: Apparently, "the stimulant properties and dependence potential of caffeine in soda are well documented, as are their effects on children."
- Weakened bones and osteoporosis: PreventDisease.com notes that "rat studies point to clear and consistent bone loss with the use of cola beverages" and also shared a 1994 Harvard study, where "[14-year-old] girls who drank cola were about five times more likely to suffer bone fractures than girls who didn't consume soda pop." Web MD confirms the connection between soda and osteoporosis, citing research done by Tufts University. Researchers studied several thousand men and women, and found that women, who regularly drank three or more a day cola-based sodas, had almost 4% lower bone mineral density in the hip. According to the lead study author Katherine Tucker, PhD, "phosphoric acid, a major component in most sodas, may be to blame [for the lower bone mineral density)]." WebMD notes that, "phosphorus itself is an important bone mineral, but if you're getting a disproportionate amount of phosphorus compared to the amount of calcium you're getting, that could lead to bone loss." They also add, "another possible culprit is caffeine, which experts have long known can interfere with calcium absorption."
Is diet soda better than regular?