Unmasking soft drinks – The real picture

Since the turn of the millennium, there has been a significant change in the lifestyle of the people of India. As life has become more and more fast-paced than ever before, little thought is given to the kind of food that is being eaten today. Especially among the youth of today, the popularity of fast food is at its highest and is going only one way : upwards. Among all the fast food that is being consumed today, soft drinks are the most harmful as they impact the body in the most direct ways.

The following bullets cover, in brief, the various health hazards caused by the consumption of soft drinks :

Dissolves tooth enamel :

Sugar and acid in soft drinks easily dissolve the tooth enamel. When the decay reaches the nerve, the root and the area at the base of the tooth, the tooth may die. If such a tooth is left untreated, an ulcer can develop.

Asthma :

Sodium Benzoate, which is found in sodas, is used as a preservative in foods. Such preservatives add sodium to the diet and reduce the availability of potassium. This causes rashes, asthma, and eczema. As many as 25% of the people of India suffer from Asthma.

Heart Disease :

Most soft drinks contain high fructose corn syrup a sweetener. It has been associated with an increased risk of metabolic syndrome, a condition associated with an elevated risk of heart disease, which is the number one cause of deaths in India.

Increased risk of diabetes :

Those who consume more soda have an 80% risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

Kidney Stones :

Soft drinks contain high levels of phosphorus in acid form, which has been linked to kidney stones and other renal problems.

Obesity :

The relation between soft drink consumption and body weight is such that recently, researchers have concluded that for every 12 fl-oz consumption of soda ( a can of soda), the risk of obesity increases 1.6 times. It is worth noting that, 70% of all Cardiovascular diseases are related to obesity. Furthermore, around 40% of breast and colon cancers are diagnosed in obese individuals.

Reproductive issues :

Soft drink cans are coated with resins that contain BPA (biphenyl – A). This is the same cancer-causing chemical found in plastic bottles and containers that wreck the endocrine system of the body, potentially causing premature puberty and reproductive abnormalities.

Osteoporosis :

As written earlier, soft drinks contain high amounts of phosphoric acid and a high phosphate diet has been associated with a bone breakdown and an increased risk of osteoporosis. When phosphorus is excreted in the urine, it takes calcium with it, depriving the body with this important mineral.

Thus, even if you might be consuming soft drinks once in a blue moon or you may be one of those binge drinkers, its ill-effects cannot be ignored.  Stay wise, stay healthy.

Siddharth Ranadive

Avid reader, football fan, Manchester United Fan, ultimate foodie, Wanderlust. These are just a few, among many other words that describe Siddharth. His fun-loving attitude makes him the life of any party. He loves cooking and photography, and writing to him comes naturally.
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