This article will provide you with the straight
facts of how your beverage choices may affect your overall health.
single largest source of added sweeteners in the American diet.
There are more than 450
different soft drinks that account for one-third of all calories
Americans consume from added sweeteners.
The consumption of soft
drinks in the United States has increased 500% over the past 50
Currently the average
person consumes more than 53 gallons of carbonated soft drinks a
year, this amount surpassed all other beverages, including milk,
beer, coffee and water.
In moderation, soft
drinks can fit into a healthy eating plan. But too often, soft
drinks just provide sugar, calories and acid.
Heavy consumption of sugar containing soft drinks can lead to
excessive amount of sugar and tooth decay.
Persons who consumed three or more sugared sodas a day had a 17-62%
higher rate of dental cavities. Mountain
Dew-20 oz is the worst pop, it contains 19 tsps of sugar and 93
milligrams of caffeine.......nearly equivalent to adult dose of NoDoz
one can of regular pop per day contains the maximum recommended intake
of sugar a day.
Soft drinks contain sticky sugars that break down into acids that can
soften tooth surfaces leading to cavities. Factors
that cause tooth decay include the frequency in which the foods/drinks
are consumed and the time they remain in the mouth.
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Excessive intake of regular pop can:
to too many calories.
to obesity .
intake of foods that have a high nutrient value.
to deficiencies such as diabetes, osteoporosis, and increased
rate of bone fractures in women.
drinks are low in nutritional value. Thus the impact of soft drinks
is that nutritious foods and drinks are being replaced by liquid
acidified sugar we call “pop”.
Regularly drinking carbonated soft drinks can contribute to the erosion
of tooth enamel surfaces due to their low pH. Most soft drinks
contain one or two common acids-phosphoric acid and citric acid.
Phosphoric acid content of soft drinks may reduce calcium absorption and
contribute to osteoporosis. These acids,
which are present in both regular and diet pop, have the potential to
contribute to enamel breakdown and when combined with sugar can lead to
There's no need to totally eliminate soft drinks, but do try to
get the nutrients you need from other sources and remember excessive
intake of pop is detrimental to your overall health.
Here are dental healthy suggestions:
to drink soda pop only with meals
to limit your teeth's exposure to the sugar and acid.
pop cans over re-sealable bottles because they limit consumption of
the pop to one sitting.
you drink a pop alone or between meals, chew sugarless gum afterward
to increase your saliva flow or rinse your mouth with water.
a straw positioned toward the back of the mouth to reduce
pop’s direct contact to the teeth.
with fluoridated toothpaste and have regular fluoride treatments.
saliva helps neutralize acids and wash your teeth clean.
The worst time to drink soda pop is when you are very thirsty or
dehydrated due to low levels of saliva, so determine to quench your
thirst with water.
a dental healthy diet that emphasizes moderation and a variety of
your mouth moist by drinking lots of water; saliva protects both
hard and soft oral tissues.
regular pop to one can per day.
regular nor diet pop should replace nutrient dense foods or
your regular dental check-up appointments.
April 07, 2007
|Soft Drinks and
|Karen R Siegel,
global health student
KM Venkat Narayan
Send letter to journal:
Re: Soft Drinks and Hard Challenges
Globally, 1.7 billion people are overweight or obese and
246 million have diabetes. Ninety percent of all diabetes cases
are type 2, of which 90% are directly attributable to excess
weight.1 Overweight and diabetes account for a large percentage
of healthcare costs in most countries.2 Vartanian et al’s
meta-analysis found a clear association of soft drink intake
with increased calorie intake and body weight, lower intakes of
milk, calcium and other nutrients and increased risk of several
medical problems including diabetes.3 Based on the data, the
authors appropriately recommend reductions in population soft
drink consumption, a task easier said than done in today’s
Americans, for example, consume 38.3 gallons of
full-calorie soft drinks per person per year.4 This
corresponds to approximately 63,000 calories, or if
consumed in excess of energy requirements, 18 pounds of
weight gain per individual per year. In light of rapid
globalization, the wide reach of soft drinks accompanies
technological advances that lead to sedentary behavior, placing
individuals, especially children and adolescents, at further
risk for overweight and diabetes. But globalization can also be
part of the solution. How can we utilize powerful globalizing
forces to reduce sweetened soft drink consumption? The answer
lies in structural, rather than educational, changes. Industry
can and should be a part of the global response to obesity, but
in what role? Development of new drinks like Diet Coke Plus,
Tava and 7Up Plus are encouraging, and show that issues of
obesity – and declining soda sales due to consumer anti-fat
attitudes – are beginning to be taken seriously.5 Several
reports by investment firms – Swiss Re, JP Morgan – show that
investing in health and healthier drinks and products is
profitable, and a report published by the HEAL Partnership in
February recommends ways that companies should address consumer
health and obesity issues, including strategy, governance and
reformulating products.6 The May 2006 agreement between
Clinton's Alliance for a Healthier Generation and Coca-Cola,
PepsiCo and Cadbury Schweppes is a good example of industry’s
role.7 Kraft, PepsiCo and others have created healthier products
and voluntarily restricted advertising; more companies should
Governments also have an important role. Cigarette taxes and
advertising bans are known to be among the most effective ways
to curb smoking, especially among youth. Considering
skyrocketing obesity rates, and growing concern of diabetes,
among children and adolescents, governments should discourage
sweetened soda consumption by adding taxes to their sales and
even subsidizing healthier beverages. Governments can also work
with industry to encourage healthier drinks/foods, for example,
by financially rewarding companies for innovation. The cost of
treatment for obesity and diabetes far outweighs the cost of
prevention: innovation costs can be viewed as minimal, even as
Triumphant collaboration between public health and industry
was demonstrated in early fortification of foods with iron and
folic acid in the US. However, no successful attempts to
reducing overweight have been reported anywhere; creative
win-win solutions are crucial. Media campaigns, using cartoon
characters and story formats to garner the attention of children
and celebrities to appeal to teenagers, can encourage
consumption of healthier foods and drinks. Finally, NGOs can
bolster the above efforts by working to unite all actors toward
the common goal of reducing obesity, an example of which is
provided by the London- based Oxford Health Alliance. In light
of unprecedented increases in overweight and diabetes globally,
action is urgently needed to curb trends. Potentially
cost-effective and pragmatic solutions – structural changes as
opposed to educational interventions alone – that include
industry are crucial. Excess calories from sweetened soft
drinks is just one cause of the obesity epidemic, but
collaborative efforts directed at reducing soft drink
consumption can provide a focused start.
1. Hossain P, Kawar B, El Nahas M. Obesity and Diabetes in
the Developing World – A Growing Challenge. N Eng J Med. 2007;
356(3): 213- 215.
2. Yach D, Stuckler D, Brownell KD. Epidemiologic and
economic consequences of the global epidemics of obesity and
diabetes. Nature Medicine. 2006; 12(1):62-66.
3. Vartanian LR, Schwartz MB, Brownell KB. Effects of Soft
drink Consumption on Nutrition and Health: A Systematic Review
and Meta- Analysis. American Journal of Public Health. 2007;
4. American Beverage Association [homepage on the Internet].
Washington, DC: American Beverage Association; 2007 [updated 9
Mar 2007; cited 2007 Mar 9]. What America Drinks; [1 screen].
Available from: http://www.ameribev.org/all-about-beverage-products-manufacturing-
5. Martin A. Makers of Sodas Try a New Pitch: They’re
Healthy. The New York Times. 2007 Mar 7.
6. HEAL Global Partnership [homepage on the Internet].
London: IBLF; 2007 [updated 2007 Feb 8; cited 2007 Mar 7]. HEAL
General Full Desc Page; [about 3 screens]. Available from:
7. William J. Clinton Foundation: Alliance for a Healthier
Generation [homepage on the Internet]. New York: William J.
Clinton Foundation; c2004 -2007 [updated 2006 May; cited 2007
Mar 7]. School Beverage Policy; [about 2 screens]. Available
from: http://www.clintonfoundation.org/cf-pgm-hs-hk- work2.htm
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