The Startling Risks of Soft Drink Consumption (A Series)

Sugar, Obesity and High Fructose Syrup (HFCS)

All of our patients have been informed of the deleterious effects of soft drinks (regular and diet) on their teeth, especially those who are wearing orthodontic appliances. The harmful effects of the acids and/or sugar in these drinks cause white scars to form from the decalcification of enamel. It’s also important to note that sodas are harmful systemically. Please continue reading.

Soft drinks contain no nutrients, are high in calories, and loaded with sugar, mostly in the form of high-fructose corn syrup. The average 12-ounce can of regular soda contains a whopping 10 teaspoons of sugar! Multiply that by how many some people actually drink in a day, and you’re looking at long-term weight gain, obesity and other health issues. As people get older, excess weight contributes to heart attacks, strokes and cancer. Several scientific studies have shown that soft drinks are directly related to weight gain. That weight gain, in turn, is a prime risk factor for Type II diabetes, which, for the first time is becoming a problem for teens as well as adults.

Soda pop provides the average 12 to 19 year old with about 10-15 teaspoons of refined sugars per day, an amount roughly equal to the governments recommended limits for teens’ sugar consumption from all foods. Because soda also suppresses the appetite, soda drinkers are less likely to get the recommended levels of Vitamin A, calcium and magnesium. In addition, phosphorus, a common ingredient in sodas, can deplete bones of calcium, making soda drinkers (especially girls) more prone to broken bones. For more on why kids should avoid soda, read the “Soda Pop” article by author and child health advocate Jane Sheppard at the Holistic Pediatric Assoc. online www.hpakids.org. (To be continued)