Maybe because it is close to the end of summer, maybe it was just coincidence, but there were several different articles I saw on the internet this week regarding the consumption of soda in the United States.
I know this is a tough subject to discuss on so many different levels. I was drinking soda at a young age. In my parents’ house it was always diet soda so I didn’t necessarily get all the sugar, but I certainly got all of the added chemicals (maybe that’s the reason I am the way that I am…more on this later). Artificial sweeteners are a whole different area that I am not even going to try and touch on now.
I remember going to the dorms in college and all the soda you could drink. Then restaurants started with the free refills to the point we are at today that the fast food places just give you the cup and let you fill up on the sodas all by yourself.
If you know me at all you know that I have a strong desire to be proactive in my health and life. Trying to eat right is to me one of the best health care reform steps I can take. And I like sharing all sorts of stuff about health in my blogs so I can now discuss the soda situation.
The first article I read was about how the governor of NY and the mayor of New York City and a novel way that they wanted to approach the rise of obesity that they were seeing just in NY. They asked the USDA (US Dept. of Agriculture) to place a ban on using food stamps to purchase soda and other sugar-laden drinks.
“Bloomberg first proposed the ban along with Governor David Paterson in October 2010, pointing to the excessive calories consumed through sugary soft drinks. The average American consumes the equivalent of 555 cans of soda per year. One in ten Americans drinks soda at breakfast and 70 percent of all soda sales are of sweetened beverages, which can contain nearly 40 grams of sugar per serving.”
And even though an estimated 6% of all food stamps are spent on these high fructose corn syrup beverages the USDA said NO. Logistically this might be too hard.. and as a result health may be negatively affected.
The second article was on msnbc.com and it basically spoke to the vast consumption of sugary drinks with some people drinking the equivalent of 4 cans a day (that over 1200 cans a year WOW) Male teens had the highest consumption with young men (20-39) coming in second. One in ten Americans drink soda for breakfast
From the article “The American Heart Association recommends getting no more than 450 calories a week from sugar-sweetened beverages, or less than three cans of soda. Sugary drinks have been linked to weight gain, obesity and type 2 diabetes. Many schools have stopped selling soda or artificial juices.”
I have already discussed in the past that sodas cause lots of irreversible harm to teeth, both in the high sugar content and the generally high acidity of the drinks and the ability for this to cause irreversible erosion of tooth structure.
My own personal experience is a little bit different than the obesity issues. I admit I go through my phases where I drink diet colas. I am not proud..I am just being honest. I also believe there is something in the diet sodas which affect me in a negative way. For the past few weeks I have not had any soda and I do feel considerably better. My workouts are better, my focus is better and I get way more work done.
This is what it boils down to…The sugary beverages (including those energy drinks and Gatorade) really have minimal nutritional benefits at best (this is what Bloomberg is trying to get the USDA to actually admit). They do pack in the calories and are a contributory force to the metabolic Disease Syndrome out there.
Try water, unsweetened coffee and tea. I have found some drinks that are sweetened with Erythritol, a close cousin of xylitol. Trust me…you will just be better off without the sodas.