Soft drink is also popularly known as soda, soda pop and pop. They are usually non-alcoholic but contain carbonated gases. Regular soft drinks contain fructose and diet soft drinks contain aspartame instead of fructose. Aspartame is 160 times sweeter than sugar. Fructose has been associated with high visceral fat accumulation in mice, which ultimately results in obesity. Obesity does not just mean being overweight, but also means the person is at risk of hypertension, heart problems, high blood pressure, fatty liver syndrome and is at risk of developing diabetes. Studies show soda drinks corrode the calcium out of the teeth and bones which makes them brittle and susceptible to breakage (Nseir, Nassar and Assy 2583). Younger generation is addicted to drinking soft drinks and consider it a fashion without knowing the longr term effects of fructose based drink consumption. An occasional drink might not harm the body, but when the same is consumed every day, can hollow out the body of its calcium and innate ability to tolerate glucose levels in the blood stream. This paper aims to prove that soft drinks are bad for children and must be stopped. The children must be educated regarding the effects and must make informed decisions regarding their health.
Soda or soft drink has become popular in our world today and it has bad effect on human health. Soft drink could affect our teeth in addition to and some other effects. The rates of people who drink soda are increasing. According to Dehdari and Mergen, the significant research shows that most of students in the secondary school drink soda. Research shows that 94.1% of the students regularly consumed soft drink in Iran. Most soft drinks at home and sometimes at parties outside their homes. For this study, 222 students were selected and were tested through 2 questionnaires. 25% of the students reported disliking the taste of milk. This explains why students prefer soft drinks to healthy drinks.
A significant correlation between parents’ education level and rate of soft drink consumption was seen. Less educated parents bought more soft drinks for their kids. More educated parents who were aware of consequences of sodas and bought them less frequently for their kids. To implement any bans or bring control over soft drink use among children, not only the children but also their parents need to be educated on the harms of excessive fructose based soft drinks. The result explains that people who drink soda right from an early age could be in danger for health hazards. Some of the main hazards identified are obesity, reduced appetite, tooth decay and osteoporosis (29). In my opinion, schools should find a way to reduce the amount of soft drink consumed by the student as a step to make schools healthy.
Most people know that soda is bad for health. However, they are not aware that it has detrimental effect on the human body. Amounts ranging from 75 to 750 parts per million (ppm) of zinc, 0.1 to 1.0 ppm of copper, and up to 1.5 ppm of lead were obtained from the dental matrix of frequent soft drink consumers, while the release of cadmium was below the level of detection. Chemicals such as lead is lethal even in low amounts. The research was done for 1 long year using citric acid, Sprite soft drink, mineral water, lemonade, etc. The release of minerals were observed for 24 hours and change in bone tissue was observed. The research also points out that soft drink affects teeth and bone tissues. Soft drinks influences the pH of the mouth and shifts it to the acidic pH, which causes significant erosion to the tooth and enamel (Ružžica, Kaliččanin, and Krstić 229).
According to Leis-Keeling, the United States of America suffers from the increase in soft drink drinkers in the last thirty years and that over half of the people in the US drink it. Last three decades have seen great increase in amount of soda consumption where more than 50% in the US drink it. The paper says that this could be the reason for some people being overweight and battling diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and osteoporosis. The statistics are alarming when we look at children who are now being diagnosed with these same conditions. Tax increases and banning vending machines are some steps that some schools have taken. But their effectiveness is questionable. There is always a chance that the children might find other ways to drink the soft drinks outside the schools or find other items to replace soft drinks, such as chips. The US is trying to find the way that could help children to stop drinking soda, and according to the article, one major change we can all do today is to evaluate our consumption of food products that could be causing our ill health (15).
According to the article, one of the big dangers comes from the amount of sugar that is present in the soft drink. 20% of the consumers, who bought of caloric sweeteners, ingested 316 kilocalories per day from high fructose. A typical 12 oz of soda can contains 150 kcal and 40 to 50 grams of sugar, which increases body weight by 15 pounds in just 1 year.
As we note that Britain and France have banned soft drinks in the school, it shows how these two countries have made their contribution to help their future generation stay healthy. United States has banned or reduced soft drinks in school in some states and cities such as, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and Miami (Leis-Keeling 15).
A study in China was conducted to see effects of soft drinks using a study sample consisting of people who were selected in a population-based cross-sectional manner. It showed that participants had suicidal thoughts or had attempted suicide previously. Higher sweet intake was associated with suicide thoughts. 23,976 participants aged between 12 years and 19 year were selected. 20.5% drank soft drink every day. It shows that 18.6% of the participants had suicidal thoughts. If we look and think about soda, we can see that it has effect on people’s personality (Xiaoqun, Zhang and Shi 215).
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is a leading problem caused by soft drink consumption. Soft drinks contain high amounts of fructose corn syrup. This fructose induces fat accumulation in liver and is called as lipotoxicity. This process increases the risk of Type II diabetes and insulin resistance. In general, fructose has no effect on glucose tolerance. But when the same fructose (15% of the diet by weight) was given to rats on a regular basis, it caused impaired tolerance to glucose. When the same amount was increased to 72% of the diet by weight, resulted in diabetes (Nseir, Nassar and Assy 2579).
According to Choi and Curhan, sodas are also associated with occurrence of gout in men. Diet soft drinks were not associated with gout, but the cohort study indicated consuming sweetened soft drinks increased gout risk. 46,393 men with no baseline gout were admitted for the study. The study was done for different categories ranging from less than one soft drink per month up to 5-6 drinks per week. The results revealed that the chances of getting gout increased by 85% in men who had had 2-3 serving of soda per day. If grown men can get gout, children whose bodies are still developing can most definitely develop similar problems at an early age (3).
It is hard to make people avoid or stop drinking soda if they drink it every day, their blood will contain a large amounts of caffeine that comes from soft drink. They need this amount of caffeine every day to be able to stay awake and do all their work. Such an addiction can be very harmful to the health. Addiction to soft drink can be similar to alcohol addiction and the person might feel less productive and less awake without it. Carbonated drink consumption must be reduced to avoid health problems among the younger generation. To do this, they must be educated on the bad effects of long-term soda consumption on their health. Additionally, some governments have imposed higher soft drink taxes to discourage young children from buying soft drinks. Prior to 2006, nearly 25% of elementary schools and 60% of middle schools had offered soft drinks through canteen and vending machine. It was around that time that prevalence of childhood obesity was becoming popular.
Vending machines have been banned in schools in order to curb childhood obesity and juvenile diabetes. Empty calories from soft drinks will decrease appetite and will not fetch any nutrition when compared to fruit juices or milk. However, its effectiveness is less known. Fletcher, Frisvold, and Tefft 1059). As for young middle-aged adults, they must make informed decisions and take responsibility for the consequences of frequent soft drink use. Soft drink can cause hypertension and studies show I can cause personality change and induce suicidal thoughts. It also causes obesity. This in turn can cause more tension and heart diseases. If the younger generation keeps consuming soft drinks at the current rate, they can soon become prey to these serious health conditions which if come once are a lifelong thing. These conditions need constant medical attention and medications. The child could lose a normal life style owing to a mere soft drink.
As we see from this research, the most common drinks in our life today are one of the most dangerous drinks. The most affect will be on a child’s health and as we all know, children are highly sensitive because their growth is not completed. What will happen if they grow up with that drink? It will cripple their perfectly good life by giving them obesity, hyper tension, heart diseases, brittle bones and suicidal thoughts. They will not have all the vitamins. They only have empty calories. Children need to have a good health, and soft drinks could affect their bones, teeth, fat accumulation mechanism and glucose tolerance in the future.
Choi, Hyon K., and Gary Curhan. "Soft drinks, fructose consumption, and the risk of gout in men: prospective cohort study." Bmj 336.7639 (2008): 309-312.
Dehdari, Tahereh, and Mergen, Tahereh. "A survey of factors associated with soft drink consumption among secondary school students in Farooj city, 2010." Journal of Jahrom University of Medical Sciences 9.4 (2012):29-34.
Fletcher, Jason M., David Frisvold, and Nathan Tefft. "Taxing soft drinks and restricting access to vending machines to curb child obesity." Health Affairs 29.5 (2010): 1059-1066.
Leis-Keeling, Kim. "Comprehensive Evaluation of Soft Drinks, Effects On Health, and Nutritional Strategies To Reverse Damage." Nutritional Perspectives: Journal of the Council on Nutrition 33.1 (2010).
Nikolic, Ruzica, Biljana Kalicanin, and Nenad Krstic. "The Release of Zinc, Copper, Lead, and Cadmium from the Mineral Tissue of Teeth under the Influence of Soft Drinks and Sour-Tasting Food." Connective Tissue Research 53.3 (2012): 229-235.
Nseir, William, Fares Nassar, and Nimer Assy. "Soft drinks consumption and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease." World journal of gastroenterology: WJG 16.21 (2010): 2579.
Pan, Xiaoqun, Cuilin Zhang, and Zumin Shi. "Soft drink and sweet food consumption and suicidal behaviours among Chinese adolescents." Acta Paediatrica 100.11 (2011): e215-e222.