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Only Partial Progress on School Soda Elimination

May 16, 2006 | 6,496 views

The beverage industry has announced a three-year plan to remove sugary soft drinks from U.S. schools. With many states already enacting bans and studies showing as many as one-third of U.S. children are overweight or about to become so, the industry has felt increasing pressure to stay out of schools.

Features of the plan include:

  • High schools will not sell high-calorie soft drinks during the school day, although they can offer diet soft drinks and low-calorie sports drinks.

  • Elementary and middle schools will sell only water, 100 percent juice, and fat-free and low-fat milk.


    Dr. Mercola's Comments:

    The number one source of calories in America is sugar from sodas, so this would at face value appear to be a move in the right direction; the average American drinks over 56 gallons of soda a year. 

    However, last fall, I told you about the PR move by the American Beverage Association (ABA) to eliminate soft drinks in elementary schools, with one giant loophole: High schoolers would still have access to soft drinks. The newest deal agreed to by the ABA and other major bottlers would be more stringent than the last one, but still comes with a very similar escape clause.

    High school students will still be able to buy diet soft drinks -- which are far worse for their health than regular carbonated drinks due to the presence of toxic artificial sweeteners like aspartame and sucralose -- and also tooth-dissolving sports drinks.

    Artificial sweeteners are bad news all around. Despite the superficial logic that consuming fewer calories will produce weight loss, the evidence is very clear that using artificial sweeteners will cause a paradoxical effect and actually cause you to gain weight.

    In fact, for many years, studies have been revealing that artificial sweeteners can:

    • Stimulate your appetite
    • Increase carbohydrate cravings
    • Stimulate fat storage and weight gain

    These chemical cocktails may be a powerful contributing factor in the obesity epidemic many industrialized nations are now experiencing. But, the damage artificially sweetened beverages and other foods can cause does not stop there.

    Artificial sweeteners like aspartame (NutraSweet®) and sucralose (Splenda®) can contribute to a host of additional side effects. Animal studies have revealed that sucralose can cause:

    • Shrunken thymus glands (up to 40 percent shrinkage)
    • Enlarged liver and kidneys
    • Atrophy of lymph follicles in the spleen and thymus
    • Reduced growth rate
    • Decreased red blood cell count
    • Diarrhea

    If these findings concern you, read on, because aspartame may be even worse.

    Results of multiple studies, complaints and testimonies have revealed that aspartame can trigger or worsen diseases including:

    • Brain tumors
    • Multiple sclerosis
    • Epilepsy
    • Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease
    • Birth defects
    • Fibromyalgia

    The bottom line is that both of these substances can poison your body. Deciding to start or continue drinking either one of them would simply be a major movement toward the development of chronic disease.

    Unfortunately, the health of so many kids has been compromised by parents, who have, in turn, been deceived by all the marketing campaigns the artificial sweetener industry has thrown at them over the years. And this health-harming mindset won't change until these high school students eventually graduate and start to break away from the deception.

    My book, Sweet Deception, to be published this fall, should go a long way toward informing the public about this mess. The logical conclusion that nearly anyone will reach after reviewing the evidence we present in the book is that regular soft drinks are actually less damaging to your body than diet sodas.

    As always, the best thing for you and your kids to drink is clean, fresh water.

    One of the best, easiest and safest ways you can give up carbonated drinks for good: Learn Turbo Tapping, a clever variation of the Emotional Freedom Technique that resolves many aspects of an issue in a short amount of time.

    [+] Sources and References

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