(Nexus Magazine) – Today we are bombarded with a multitude of soft drinks flooding supermarket shelves. They are overtaking traditional drinks and gradually taking their place, although they cause serious health problems.
“Carbonated drinks”, also known as soft drinks or fizzy drinks, refer to all those drinks that contain carbon dioxide dissolved in water. It is this carbon dioxide that brings the popular “hiss” into the bottle. In addition to carbon dioxide, there are a number of other “ingredients” in the soft drink: one can alone contains around ten teaspoons of sugar, 150 calories, and 30 – 55 mg of caffeine and is brimming with food coloring and sulfides.
A not-so-sweet habit!
The sugar content of almost all soft drinks is above the daily requirement. So it’s no wonder that soft drinks in particular are the largest single component in the American food pyramid: around 7% of the total number of calories.
When it comes to young people, this figure rises to 13%. In 1998, the annual consumption of carbonated beverages per person was 212.6 liters. In contrast, although consumption in the US fell by 7% in 2004, most Americans still consumed excessive amounts of soft drinks.
According to the US National Soft Drinks Association (NSDA), annual per capita consumption is 600 single servings of 355 ml each. Consumption has thus tripled since 1978 for boys and doubled for girls. Boys and men between the ages of twelve and 22 are at the top here – with 606 liters per year and almost 1.9 liters per day.
Things aren’t much better in the UK, where over 5.56 million liters of fizzy drinks are consumed every year! With a view to Great Britain’s population of approx. 60.2 million, which results in an annual per capita consumption of more than 92 liters. Australia is not very far behind. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, annual per capita consumption has increased over the past 30 years from 47.3 liters (1969) to 113 liters (1999).
Who wants yellow teeth?
Soft drinks bring us some negative surprises, one of which is serious damage to tooth enamel. Continued consumption of these soft drinks can result in yellow teeth and eventually lead to dental disease. This is due to the phosphoric acid in soft drinks, which is also believed to make digestion difficult.
Phosphoric acid damages tooth enamel
The body always strives to maintain its natural, slightly alkaline pH value of 7.4. Soft drinks have a pH of 2.0. Their acidity is 100,000 times higher than that of pure water. Fizzy drinks leave a residual acidity in the mouth, which lowers the natural base level of saliva.
This imbalance activates a repair mechanism in the body. To convert the acidic PH value back [to the normal-alkaline], the body uses s.g. Neutralizers such as calcium ions, z. B. occur in the tooth. In this way, the tooth enamel is slowly and steadily destroyed.
Even drinks labeled “sugar-free” or “reduced sugar” can still contain enough sugar to damage teeth, and their acidity is the same as regular carbonated drinks.
This acid can also cause stomach inflammation and even lead to the breakdown of the stomach lining in the long term. Even more worrying: The body’s constant effort to “repair” is unnatural, because an overly acidic, environment is also held responsible for bone loss.
Bone loss and fractures
Eating habits have been proven to have an impact on our health. In this case the health of our bones. The US National Osteoporosis Society states that approximately 55% of all Americans, mostly women, are at an increased risk of osteoporosis.
Are Soft Drinks Contributory to Osteoporosis?
An October 2006 article in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition refers to an epidemiological study by Katherine Tucker and her collaborators.
Katherine Tucker is the director of population and nutrition at the Jean Mayer USDA Research Center on Nutrition and Aging at Tufts University Boston, and her study convincingly shows that drinking carbonated beverages can reduce bone density in older women, which in turn increases the risk of osteoporosis.
For the Framingham Osteoporosis Study, Tucker and her collaborators studied more than 2,500 people under the age of 60. They took bone density measurements from the spine and three different hip regions and found that the bone density of women who drank coke regularly had decreased by 4% in all three hip regions, regardless of their age, whether they were in menopause, took extra calcium or vitamin D supplements, or consumed alcohol and cigarettes.
Target group: schoolchildren
It’s not about blaming teenagers or adults for their poor diet. Soft drink companies, on the other hand, and even a number of medical studies, are often in a hurry to seek the cause of deteriorated bone material only in those affected. How should soft drinks be to blame if the only thing that’s actually eaten is wrong?
However, this overlooks the fact that it is precisely the empty calories taken in with the soft drinks that can first lead to a loss of appetite and later to malnutrition. Unfortunately, the main consumption of soft drinks takes place in schools.
Soft drinks have replaced milk as the main drink. Not only in teenagers but also in adults. From 1985 to 1997, school orders for milk fell nearly 30% while orders for carbonated beverages rose.
Schools sell themselves to soft drink companies
Why do schools buy such large quantities of soft drinks in the first place? This question leads to another problem area: Since the budget of the schools is often not sufficient to cover all school areas – especially not those that serve the purpose of active recreation and lie outside the curriculum – many schools enter into contracts with soft drink companies.
In 1993, for example, the 11th Circuit in Colorado Springs became the first in the US to sign a contract with Burger King, which then ran large-scale advertising with billboards in school corridors and school buses. A few years later, the district signed a ten-year deal with Coca-Cola for $11 million.
These contracts set minimum annual purchases, which means that students are openly encouraged to purchase and are even allowed to take soft drinks to class. With these types of contracts raising concerns, school boards that sell themselves to soft drink companies have come under more scrutiny.
Not only schools are the target of the cola companies. Coca-Cola, for example, is said to have paid 60 million US dollars to the Girls and Boys Clubs of America so that only Coca-Cola products are sold in the more than 2,000 clubhouses.
This sum seems gigantic at first, but in the end, Coca-Cola rakes in the higher profit. Because when a company like Coca-Cola sets its minimum annual growth rate at 25 percent, new consumer groups have to be won over. The adult market is proving tough, and so children become objects of desire.
Would you like a glass of pesticides?
Soft drinks contain large amounts of fluoride and other impurities as well as various chemicals that can lead to a wide variety of health problems. These include, for example, chlorine, trihalomethane, iron, cadmium, and some other pollutants.
Only in developing countries is the pollution of soft drinks even greater. In India, for example, the Center for Science and Environment (CSE), an independent organization on behalf of the general public – has found even higher levels of pesticides in some soft drinks.
Despite three years of deliberation and 20 meetings, the Bureau of Indian Standards (AS) has still not established universal guidelines for soft drinks.
Instead, TV viewers are confronted with a new kind of advertising: stars acting as mouthpieces for soft drink companies, who sign them for claiming that the drink in question is completely harmless. However, cola is anything but harmless. It does not provide the body with any nutrients – only acids, pesticides, and other pollutants!
Nutritious Drinks – Why should we drink them?
This question hits the most sensitive point. Why would we drink something that has no nutritional value and, worse, can lead to health problems? Is the rising popularity of soft drinks rooted in our carelessness? Critics no longer have access to the big media!
As early as 1942, the American Medical Association’s Council on Food and Nutrition announced the following:
“From a health point of view, it would be appropriate to reduce sugar in foods that have no nutritional value, such as confectionery and carbonated soft drinks. The Council believes that such a restriction, which would be in the interests of everyone’s health, is imperative and should be used when the proportions between nutritional value and food are no longer correct, i.e. when the food consists of hardly any nutritious ingredients apart from sugar.”
Sugar is converted to fat in the body
Crucially, all soft drinks, including energy drinks, provide nothing nutritious. The calories they bring with them due to their sugar content are also known as “empty calories”; in the body, they turn into fat and can ultimately lead to overweight and obesity. If we recall how high the consumption of cola is in the USA, it should not surprise us that a recent research study found that half of all adults and one in three children in the USA are overweight.
Our modern “way of life”, which also includes the regular consumption of soft drinks, can have even worse consequences because it often prepares the basis for the occurrence of so-called “civilization diseases” such as diabetes, cardiac insufficiency, heart attacks, strokes, or even cancer.
Diet drinks – anything but healthy
So-called diet drinks that promise a low sugar content but instead contain aspartame can cause gland disorders.
Numerous diseases, such as brain tumors, birth defects, mood swings, or epilepsy are associated with it; In addition, aspartame, when stored for a long time or placed in a warm environment, converts to methanol, alcohol, which converts to formaldehyde and formic acid, which in turn are known to us as carcinogens, the substances that cause cancer.
The artificial sweetener saccharin, which is only used by a few companies these days, is considered to be one of the causes of bladder cancer in both human and veterinary research, and in veterinary medicine, it is also associated with other forms of cancer. Acesulfame-K, used in Pepsi One, is currently believed to be harmless, but no one knows what future research will bring
Would you like an overdose of energy?
Recent research, presented at the annual American Emergency Physicians Scientific Convention in New Orleans, cast a critical light on the “energy” of so-called energy drinks.
Over a period of three years, Dr. Danielle McCarthy and her collaborators at Northwestern University processed all telephone reports received at the Toxicology Institute in Illinois, Chicago. The research team focused on reports concerning caffeine-containing medicines and caffeine substitutes. Coffee or tea items themselves were left out of this study.
The results are shocking, to say the least. There have been over 250 reports of physical disorders after taking caffeine substitutes. 31 people needed inpatient treatment and even had to go to the intensive care unit. The people were on average 21 years old. The majority of reported cases of caffeine overdoses have involved adolescents who have taken stimulants such as NoDoz or consumed energy drinks, often in combination with other drugs or alcohol.
Caffeine abuse has health consequences
The study sheds a harsh light on the general lack of awareness and ignorance about the side effects of caffeine substitutes. dr McCarthy issues a strong warning:
“Adolescents who take caffeine to stay awake or feel happy find themselves in the emergency room more often than one might think. That’s why adolescents who are hospitalized with chest pain or an abnormal heart rhythm are less likely to ask questions about their use of caffeine substitutes because everyone thinks they’re safe.”
Most people would assume that teens who abused caffeine must have used other drugs as well. This is not entirely true, as 68% of the reported cases involved caffeine alone.
While most of the people who had to be hospitalized had taken a mix of caffeine and other medications, it should give us cause for concern that overdosing on a substance like caffeine, which is commonly considered a type of “food,” can cause significant physical damage can lead to problems.
Energy Drink + Alcohol = Dangerous Cocktail
The mix of energy drinks and vodka is a very popular cocktail, especially among young people. People who have already become sluggish and sleepy after drinking more alcohol and then switching to energy drinks are suddenly prone to aggressive behavior, which often leads to nightly riots. Caffeine is directly related to a number of health problems. With nervousness, insomnia, high blood pressure, cardiac arrhythmias, elevated cholesterol levels, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, but also with breast lumps, and even birth defects.
Caffeine is known to stimulate the activity of the adrenal gland. However, consuming large amounts can lead to adrenaline depletion and depletion, especially in children. Fizzy drink and energy drink lovers should know that caffeine is added to fizzy drinks to make consumers addicted.
The danger is not knowing that you are slowly becoming dependent. Research studies on carbonated drinks are a dime a dozen! A general rethinking would be more appropriate to the situation than a spontaneously flaring up and quickly waning interest of the media, which suspects “new stories” in these results.
Think about your health – even in old age!
It might encourage us to redefine our lives and take medical research seriously, especially when it so clearly exposes our greed to conform to lifestyle constraints. The choice is yours: cola and energy drinks are yours the moment you ask! However, once you’ve done lasting damage to your body, asking won’t do you any good! The beverage industry will not give you back your health. Think about it!