Soda May Cause Health Problems
Drinking soda and sweetened drinks can cause serious health hazards.
September 16, 2004 3:53 PM
Drinking soda and sweetened drinks can cause obesity, diabetes and bone fractures, recent studies say. But how much is too much?
According to Harvard School of Public Health, drinking just one soda a day increases the risk of developing type 2, (the most common type) of diabetes in women, by 85 percent.
Harvard researchers observed more than 91,000 women who drank soda every day and found that they also gained about 10 pounds. This confirms an earlier study, published in 2001 in the medical journal The Lancet stating that an extra soda drink a day increases the risk of obesity in children by 60 percent.
The same study concluded that the rate of obesity among children in the United States increased by 100 percent between 1980 and 1994.
The researchers at Harvard Medical School suggest that teenage girls should drink less soda as it causes bone fractures, obesity and tooth decay. This new study, published in August of this year, found that 9th and 10th grade girls who drink soda are three times more likely to have weaker bones than those who do not drink carbonated beverages.
But the opinions of experts regarding consumption of soft drinks vary.
“One soda is not going to do anything,” said Albert Angelo, a health educator at SF State. “It’s overall calories. If somebody is maxing out their number of calories, what happens is they go beyond their maximum number of calories by having one more soda. Then yeah, of course they are going to gain weight.”
“I typically see half a dozen to a dozen students each semester with weight gain primarily due to excess intake of sodas and sometimes even fruit juices,” said Leu. “I suggest students read their labels and note two things: how many servings are there in the container, and how many total grams of sugar are they taking in (every four gram of sugar equals one teaspoon of sugar).”
But Adam Burke, a holistic health specialist and a professor at SF State, said that drinking soda is “terrible” since it contains an “immense amount of sugar” – up to 13 teaspoons in one can.
Drinking less sugared drinks like diet soda or ginger soda is better, but they are still carbonated, said Burke. Carbonation, in addition to sugar, over activates the liver and affects muscular health from the Chinese perspective, Burke said.
“You shouldn’t drink it (soda) at all,” said Burke. “Drink water, tea and fruit juice.”
Albert Angelo recommended looking at the overall diet and examining what you are eating every day.
Health experts suggest eating fruits, vegetables and drinking fresh water or diluted fruit juice (water with a slice of lemon or orange in it) as a healthy solution to include in an everyday diet.
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