Empty Cup

By Dean L. Jones

Soda sales for all soft drink manufacturers is dropping.  The general reason for the slump in soft drink sales is believed to result from people seeing how soda is harmful to one’s health.  Consumers are increasingly comprehending that the more soda one drinks the more weight one puts on, not to mention the higher chance of developing diabetes.

It was the mid-1980’s recalling the first time receiving an empty cup when I ordered a soda at a fast-food place.  At first I thought it was a mistake, but self-serve unlimited soda refills was a real deal.  Some thirty years later, free-refills for sugary drinks have not changed much offering Pepsi, Sprite, Hi-C, Powerade, Lemonade, Raspberry Lemonade, Coca-Cola and its many other brands.  Also during mid-1980’s soda manufacturers found switching their soda ingredients from cane and beet sugar to high-fructose corn syrup that they could hook the customer quicker and save money at the same time.  Thus, the free refills became a regular feature at all of the fast food joints, all-you-can-eat buffets, gas station food marts, and the like.

Over these same thirty years, obesity rose throughout the country, carrying with it a new generation of people living out a type 2 diabetes crisis.  Fortunately, the pressure for K-12 public schools to discontinued carrying sodas in campus vending machines has been implemented.  Quite necessary to help curtail how the next generation mat not be as subjected to unwarranted illnesses from constant exposure to sugary beverages.

The average American is now drinking 450 cans of soda a year, which is right back to the mid-1980’s level.  The average American soda consumer had gotten as high as 597 cans of soda per year.  When you do the math, one 12-ounce serving can contains 10-teaspoons of processed sugar, multiplied by the older average of drinking 597 cans of soda, equals slightly over 62-pounds of processed sugar in just one year.

Although soft drinks in general are not selling as fast as they used to, consumers are now throwing their money at energy drinks at an alarming rate.  Energy and sport drinks are a growing trend and these beverages pack a lot of unnecessary added sugar, no different than sodas.  The average energy drink contains 32 grams, or 8-teaspoons of processed sugar, making the trendy alternative to sodas no better for one’s health.

There are so many reasons to stay away from sugary drinks, but the main reason is how routine soda drinking will elevate a person’s insulin level and the subsequent insulin resistance that becomes a foundational factor of most chronic diseases, from diabetes to cancer.  Thereby, combining energy drinks, sports drinks, and soda will, without a doubt, take a person down an unwanted road of ill health.  In view of that, fill your empty cup with nature’s unprocessed water, and stay SugarAlert!

Dean Jones, Ethics Advocate, Southland Partnership Corporation (a public benefit organization), contributes his view on health attributes derived from processed foodstuff items.