Soft drinks! Could they harm you?
Do you have an irresistible desire for a soft drink? Do you need to drink at least one soft drink a day? Then you need to be warned they are no harmless sugared drinks.
A soft drink is something that one reaches out for during a tiring journey or an exhaustive shopping ordeal. Children’s parties these days cannot begin without them. Soft drinks have taken a definitive place in our lives. Over the past two decades there has been a great increase in the consumption of these beverages .The market has been flooded with a number of brands targeted at various age groups. In addition to this soft drinks are easily available at most stores and at highly affordable rates. In many places these soft drinks have taken the place of water, to quench thirst. The sizes of the bottles have also grown thus again increasing their intake.
Soft drinks have been there for a long time but no studies were carried out on their effects on the human body. Now there is a growing concern in the medical and scientific communities about the harmful effects associated with carbonated soft drinks. Each 12-ounce serving of a carbonated, sweetened soda has 150 calories and the equivalent of 10 teaspoons of sugar. This could contribute a lot to the increasing problem of obesity observed in children. Obesity, which is one of the main health problems facing today’s youth, is just one issue associated with sugared drinks. These soft drinks also cut down on the milk consumed by children thus reducing intake of one of the principal sources of calcium.
Scientific studies have shown how as few as one or two soft drinks a day can increase one’s risk for numerous health problems. Some of these health problems are obesity, diabetes, tooth decay, osteoporosis, nutritional deficiencies, heart disease, and many neurological disorders. Soft drinks mostly consist of filtered water and refined sugars.
They have literally no nutritional benefits hence called as empty calories. Excessive consumption however could lead to a host of problems like: –
Liver cirrhosis: It usually occurs in alcoholics. The only cure to this disease is liver transplantation.
Increased acidity: Another common problem found is increased acid levels throughout the body. Soft drinks have a high acidic pH. When large quantities are consumed they disturb the delicate acid alkaline balance of the stomach. Prolonged increased acid levels will cause erosion of the gastric lining, which is very painful and disrupts proper digestion
Effect Of Phosphorus: The phosphorous that is found in the fizz and bubbles emitted from soft drinks fights with hydrochloric acid in the stomach and causes the stomach to be ineffective. When the stomach can’t digest food, the person will have indigestion, gassiness, or bloating
Soft drinks deplete the amount of oxygen in the human body thus increasing the risk for cancer.
The increased risk of bone fractures and osteoporosis: The large amounts of sugar, bubbles caused by carbon dioxide, and phosphoric acid that are found in soft drinks remove nutritious minerals from bones allowing the bones to become weak and increasing the risk for them to break.
Caffeine related disorders: Caffeine is present in soft drinks which when consumed in large amounts can cause diseases and disorders such as insomnia, nervousness, anxiety, irritability, and deviations from the normal heart rate Caramel coloring may be a carcinogen
Dental cavities: Often associated with carbonated beverage. This association is important because the amount of sugars that are consumed is important in forming caries, which is when a cavity effects only the enamel, the outer protective layer of a tooth.
Though carbonated drinks are very popular it is necessary that as consumers we be aware of the ill effects of indiscriminate use of such deleterious beverages .We also need to be careful as the caffeine in these drinks are addictive and can hook us for life. Many children and also a number of adults experience a strong craving for a drink but are unaware that they are being addicted to a dangerous habit. Smoking and alcohol are the most popular addictive and potentially harmful habits but this silent poison called soft drinks catches many of us unaware. Excessive consumption of these highly popular carbonated beverages should be avoided because they are not as harmless as we blindly perceive them to be. Next time you reach out for your choicest drink think twice.
By Bindu Menon