The Real Dangers of Soda to You and Your Children

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July 09, 2003 | 88,339 views

By Dr. Joseph Mercola
     
with Rachael Droege

How many sodas have you had today? How about your kids? The average American drinks an estimated 56 gallons of soft drinks each year, but before you grab that next can of soda, consider this: one can of soda has about 10 teaspoons of sugar, 150 calories, 30 to 55 mg of caffeine, and is loaded with artificial food colors and sulphites.

This is an alarming amount of sugar, calories and harmful additives in a product that has absolutely no nutritional value. Plus, studies have linked soda to osteoporosis, obesity, tooth decay and heart disease. Despite this, soda accounts for more than one-quarter of all drinks consumed in the United States.

Teenagers and children, who many soft drinks are marketed toward, are among the largest consumers. In the past 10 years, soft drink consumption among children has almost doubled in the United States. Teenage boys now drink, on average, three or more cans of soda per day, and 10 percent drink seven or more cans a day. The average for teenage girls is more than two cans a day, and 10 percent drink more than five cans a day.

While these numbers may sound high, they’re not surprising considering that most school hallways are lined with vending machines that sell, of course, soft drinks. It’s not uncommon for schools to make marketing deals with leading soft drink companies such as Coca-Cola from which they receive commissions--based on a percentage of sales at each school--and sometimes a lump-sum payment.

The revenues are used for various academic and after-school activities, but what activity could be worth devastating the students’ health, which is exactly what consuming all that soda is doing? Getting rid of vending machines in schools--or replacing their contents with pure water and healthy snacks--could make a big difference, as vending machines can increase the consumption of sweetened beverages by up to 50 or more cans of soda per student per year.

Let’s take a look at some of the major components of a can of soda:

If you are still drinking soda, stopping the habit is an easy way to improve your health. Pure water is a much better choice. If you must drink a carbonated beverage, try sparkling mineral water.

Related Articles:

The Amazing Statistics and Dangers of Soda Pop

Soda Causing Nutritional Deficiencies in Children

Each Daily Soda Increases Obesity Risk 60%

Bad News Increase in Soda and Juice

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Healthy Diet Deemed Responsible for High School Students’ Good Behavior