Dr. David Katz is down on soda. Soda packs a caloric punch, offering no nutrients in return. It should come as no surprise that Dr. Katz advises you to avoid soda completely.
Dr. Katz has the background to back him up. He was the Director of Medical Studies in Public Health at the Yale School of Medicine. He was twice recognized by the Consumers Research Council of America as a top physician in Preventive Medicine.
My attitude about obesity is that everything in modern society that isn’t part of the solution is part of the problem. There’s a variable literature looking at the association between soda and obesity, but here’s my thinking on the topic–regular soda is a source of sugar and calories. The fundamental cause of obesity in anybody is too many calories in, too few calories out.
If you drink soda, that’s some of the calories in, and soda has nothing redeeming in it. It is a chemistry experiment gone bad and it’s a source of sugar and calories. Now maybe if you drink soda, the calories from soda are not being added to your diet; maybe they are replacing other calories. Well, then my attitude is, whatever calories they are replacing, almost any other calories would be better for you because other calories would come with nutrients.
So you are getting calories with no nutrient value, displacing calories that have nutrient value, and you are compromising the nutritional quality of your diet. That’s bad for you. The only alternative is okay, I’ll keep the sources of calories that are also sources of nutrients and add the soda. Well, now you are adding calories.
So, either way you look, soda has got to be a cause of either A, degrading the quality of the diet or B, contributing to obesity. I don’t think there is a third choice, and then, even diet soda I think is part of the problem because we very rightly speak about a sweet tooth, not a sugar tooth. The craving for sweet is just that–a craving for sweet, and like most cravings, the more you feed it, the bigger it gets.
When you feed a sweet tooth, you don’t placate it, you don’t make it go away; you turn it into a sweet fang.