Soft Drinks – Hard Risks

By Dean L. Jones

Right up there with candies, cakes and pastries—Americans have a bond with consuming soft drinks.  The numerous brand soft drink beverages have been able to get consumers obsessed with perceived favorite flavors, so much that some consumers ravenously drink multiple sodas every day.

The term soft drink is misleading as it contains harmful ingredients that are the source of hard risks to developing diseases.  A main ingredient decidedly damaging is processed sugar and/or high fructose corn syrup, proven to be a danger to human health, where medical studies conclusively report how sodas are a base source of obesity, diabetes, heart disease and other related severe diseases.

In 1980, the average American more or less drank 30 gallons of soda per year.  This is a large amount in itself; however by 2000 the average American drank 50 gallons of soda a year.  During this same period of increase consumption the number of annual new diabetes cases for people aged 18 to 79 years diagnosed with diabetes more than tripled.

A discernible correlation especially since that peak in 2000, lower consumption is back down to 1980 levels and the new cases of diabetes diagnosed are also down.  The soft drink risks are reinforced with the connection in how soda sales are declining each year as well.

There is a misconception that drinking soda quenches thirst, as processed sugar will mentally trick the brain into overeating, thereby searching for something to truly quench thirst.  For heavy drinkers, the moment you stop drinking sugary soda the heart is spared from the increased risk of chronic heart disease.  Sugary-filled beverage drinkers are 20% more likely to have a heart attack and higher blood pressure than non soda drinkers.

It does not matter if it is an artificially sweetened or added sugar; ingesting soft drinks can negatively affect the brain’s thinking processes so bad that perpetual consumption will in due course lead to impaired learning, memory, and abnormal behavior.  Sugar-filled soft drinks destroy the teeth enough that drinking a lot of soda can leave your mouth as corroded as that of a methamphetamine drug abuser.

Soft drinks act as a diuretic, meaning that consumption of it builds the need to urinate urgently and frequently.  Likewise, when you stop drinking sodas it serves to improve bone health and decreases the hard risk of developing osteoporosis.

Soft drinks are nothing more than liquid sugar that increases the risk of developing kidney disease and ultimately kidney failure and possibly decreased liver function.  Liquid sugar consumption increases the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease or other types of dementia.

For one year, take the step to stop consuming one soft drink a day that will achieve a reduction of over 200,000 calories, or about 60 pounds.  A mindful and affirmative action of living SugarAlert!
Mr. Jones is a marketing strategist with the Southland Partnership Corporation (a public benefit organization), sharing his view on mismanagement practices of packaged foods & beverages.