Whether it be Mountain Dew, Coca Cola, or Dr. Pepper, Americans love their soft drinks. A little over half of Americans consume at least one glass of a soft drink every day. This prominent beverage of our culture along with other sugary drinks such as fruit juice, sweetened coffees, etc. makes up 39% of all added sugar intake. See points below for information on the importance of limiting soft drinks:
High Sugar Content: One extra soft drink a day gave a child a 60 percent greater chance of becoming obese. One could even link specific amounts of soda to specific amounts of weight gain. Each daily drink added .18 points to a child’s body mass index (BMI).
Osteoporosis: Soft drinks have been suspected to lead to lower calcium levels and higher phosphate levels in the blood. When phosphate levels are high and calcium levels are low, calcium is pulled from the bones to correct the deficiency in the blood. Soft drinks are very high in potassium and contain virtually no calcium. With a chronic exposure to high phosphate levels and low calcium levels, the body will continually pull calcium from the bones, potentially resulting in osteoporosis. Adolescents who consume soft drinks display a risk of bone fractures three to four-fold higher than those who do not.
Aspartame: This low-calorie sweetener present in diet sodas contains methyl or wood alcohol, which can affect fetal brain development.
Teeth: Sugar and acid in soft drinks can easily dissolve tooth enamel.
Type II Diabetes: Those who drink 1 to 2 sugary drinks a day have a 26% greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes than those who do not often drink soda, fruit juice, iced tea, and energy and vitamin water drinks, according to a 2010 study published in Diabetes Care.
Soft Drinks Today: A typical 12-ounce can of regular cola contains nearly 9 teaspoons of added sugars; a 20-ounce bottle contains 14 ½ teaspoons of sugars.
For a 2000 calorie diet, the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines recommend Americans consume no more than 50 grams, or 12.5 teaspoons, of added sugar per day.
Sugar sneaks into a lot of unexpected foods and drinks, and limiting intake of sodas and other sugary drinks is a great approach to avoiding large quantities of sugar intake. For a positive start towards improving your overall health, try monitoring your daily soda consumption!
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