Soda has gotten a bad rap lately but it is it really that bad? In New York City, Mayor Bloomberg made news recently for proposing a ban on sugary drinks and sodas in containers over 16 ounces.
This ban would mean New Yorkers, and the millions who visit the country's largest city, would not be able to "supersize" their sodas when going through the drive-thru or buy a Big Gulp drink at the ball park.
Clearly, Mayor Bloomberg thinks banning soda is important for the health of his constituents, but why is soda so unhealthy for Americans? Read on for three reasons why sugary sodas are hurting Americans' health.
Reason 1: Soda increases obesity
With more than 2/3 of Americans overweight or obese, adding additional calories to one's diet in the form of drinks is obviously not good. About 7 percent of the average American's daily calorie intake comes from soda.
Researchers have found that adding just one soda a day can cause a person to gain up to 15 pounds of fat over the course of a year. Soda accounts for the largest percentage of any single food source and contains only empty calories with no nutritional benefit.
Also, soda drinkers are less likely to feel full after consuming a sugary soda than if they ate the same amount of calories in food.
Reason 2: Soda causes chronic diseases like diabetes
One can of soda contains about 10 teaspoons of sugar in the form of high fructose corn syrup. The American Heart Association recommends that adults consume less than six teaspoons a day, and kids should get less than three teaspoons.
As a result of soda drinking, some teenagers are consuming more than 34 teaspoons a day! Over time this excess sugar can lead to an increased risk for type 2 diabetes, some forms of heart disease, and even cancer.
Reason 3: Soda can cause harm to teeth and bones
Studies have shown the acidity of the sugary soda drinks can erode the enamel off of teeth which causes decay and is very harmful to the teeth themselves.
Soda also contributes to bone density issues, especially in young people. As kids drink more soda, they tend to drink less milk and their bones miss the protein and other nutrients milk provides.
While banning large size sodas may not stop the issues that sugary drinks create, it is one creative idea to try to combat the problem. The main thing to remember is that the 50 gallons of soda the average American drinks each year has a definite effect on Americans' health and if the trend continues it will harm Americans dramatically.
Yahoo.com. Web. 4 June 2012. "Health risks of soda: Is it really so bad?"
NyTimes.com. Web. Published on 31 May 2012. "Bloomberg plans a ban on large sugared drinks".
Reviewed June 5, 2012
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith