Last year a Gallup poll revealed that 48 percent of surveyed Americans drink soft drinks on a daily basis. Seven percent of those surveyed claimed they drink four or more sodas a day.
According to the CDC, a National Youth Physical Activity and Nutrition Study stressed the need to reduce consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages.
Even more alarming is a CBS News report on the results of a collaborative study between researchers from Columbia University, Harvard University and the University of Vermont.
The study claims there’s a significantly higher likelihood of physically hurtful or damaging behavior in children who drank the highest amounts of soft drinks.
With the above information in mind, we’ve provided 10 reasons your kid should not drink soda.
1) Soda Consumption In Children Could Lead To Violent Behavior
A new study in The Journal of Pediatrics finds that aggression, attention problems, and withdrawal behavior are all associated with soft drink consumption in young children.
“We found a significant relation with soda consumption with the overall measure of aggression and with the three specific behaviors we felt were most indicative of aggression: destroying things belonging to others, getting into fights and physically attacking people,” wrote the study authors.
They added, while recommending reductions in soda consumption, “Soft drinks are highly processed products containing carbonated water, high fructose corn syrup, aspartame, sodium benzoate, phosphoric or citric acid, and often caffeine, any of which might affect behavior.”
2) Soda Can Damage Teeth as Badly as Speed or Crack
Dr. Mohamed Bassiouny, a professor of restorative dentistry at the Temple University School of Dentistry in Philadelphia, claims methamphetamine and crack cocaine are highly acidic, just like diet soda.
Methamphetamine, crack cocaine and both diet and sweetened soda are highly acidic and can cause similar dental problems, Bassiouny said in the study.
“You look at it side-to-side with ‘meth mouth’ or ‘coke mouth,’ it is startling to see the intensity and extent of damage more or less the same,” said Dr. Bassiouny.
3) Soda Contains HFCS Which Impairs Learning
High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is used in virtually everything on grocery store shelves, including soft drinks, cereal, bread, ketchup, and pancake syrups.
High fructose corn syrup impairs memory and learning. New evidence suggests a steady diet of high fructose corn syrup slows the brain, and impairs memory and learning.
“Our findings illustrate that what you eat affects how you think,” said Fernando Gomez-Pinilla, a professor of neurosurgery at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and a professor of integrative biology and physiology in the UCLA College of Letters and Science.
Eating a high-fructose diet over the long term alters your brain’s ability to learn and remember information.
A study at the University of Adelaide has shown that drinking too many carbonated soft drinks can lead to an increased risk of developing asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD).
Australian researchers analyzed the health and soda drinking habits of 16,907 people age 16 or older in southern Australia between 2008 and 2010, according to the Guardian.
Their findings revealed that people who consumed at least a half a liter of soft drinks a day were more than twice as likely to develop either breathing condition compared with those who refrained from the drink altogether, Med Page Today reports.
5) Some Sodas Contain a Flame Retardant
Brominated vegetable oil (BVO) is vegetable oil derived from soybean or corn that is bonded with the element bromine, and used as a patented flame retardant chemical. BVO is banned in food throughout Europe and Japan, yet BVO has been added to sodas for decades in North America.
Some drinks with BVO listed in their ingredients are Mountain Dew, Squirt, Fanta Orange, Sunkist Pineapple, Gatorade Thirst Quencher Orange, Powerade Strawberry Lemonade and Fresca Original Citrus. In Mountain Dew, brominated vegetable oil is listed next-to-last, between disodium EDTA and Yellow 5.
Regular consumption of refined sugar and corn syrup has been linked to a host of illnesses including diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.
Americans consume about 250 to 300 more calories daily now than they did several decades ago, and nearly half this increase is accounted for by consumption of sugared beverages.
One UCLA study found adults who drink at least one soft drink a day are 27 percent more likely to be obese than those who don’t. The study also found that approximately half of children and teens in this country drink at least one soda daily.
7) Cancer Risk Linked to Coke and Pepsi
The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), a consumer health group in Washington, claims Coca-Cola, Pepsi-Cola, Diet Coke, and Diet Pepsi contain high levels of 4-methylimidazole (4-MI), a known animal carcinogen.
The chemical is responsible for the artificial caramel coloring used in colas. CSPI claims the artificial brown coloring in colas and some other products is made by reacting sugars with ammonia and sulfites under high pressure and temperatures.
Chemical reactions result in the formation of 2-methylimidazole and 4 methylimidazole. “Coke and Pepsi, with the acquiescence of the FDA, are needlessly exposing millions of Americans to a chemical that causes cancer,” said CSPI executive director Michael F. Jacobson.
8) Weakened Bones in Children
Carbonated drinks contain high amounts of phosphoric acid and excessive phosphorous intake depletes the body of calcium which can lead to a loss in bone density, and osteoporosis.
Soda removes much needed water in your child’s body on hot days instead of hydrating the body. Dehydration can be mild, moderate, or severe based on how much of the body’s fluid is lost or not replenished. When it is severe, dehydration is a life-threatening emergency.
Diet sodas are full of aspartame, and as Katerina Nikolas points out, independent studies do not concur with industry sponsored studies which label aspartame safe, and it is believed that long term consumption of aspartame will increase the possibility of cancers.
“It could well be the case that by the time the data is conclusive that aspartame is indeed a dangerous additive, that a child may have had many years of exposure to it.”
Dr. Mercola claims the risk to infants, children, pregnant women, the elderly and persons with certain chronic health problems from excitotoxins are great. Even the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB), which usually understates problems and mimics the FDA party-line, recently stated in a review that:
“It is prudent to avoid the use of dietary supplements of L-glutamic acid by pregnant women, infants, and children. The existence of evidence of potential endocrine responses, i.e., elevated cortisol and prolactin, and differential responses between males and females, would also suggest a neuroendocrine link and that supplemental L-glutamic acid should be avoided by women of childbearing age and individuals with affective disorders.”