Thursday, January 28, 2010

Killing the Fizz

Well, it finally happened.  I'm giving up soda.  I was well on my way to phasing out drinking sodas altogether when Pepsi reintroduced their Pepsi Throwback and I found myself buying at least one 12 pack per week.  I was buying it because I loathe, hate, and vehemently protest high fructose corn syrup and support/ purchase products made with real sugar.  Now, I know that a Pepsi Throwback does not count as "real" food and that it is still full of empty calories that make me fat, fat, fat, but I've been addicted to the demon, calcium sucking carbonated beverages for years.  So, what was the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back?  The economy.  We can no longer afford to buy foods without nutritional value (not that our bodies could afford it in the first place).  Without sodas in the house, I will be drinking more water and iced tea, which gives me more control of my sugar intake.  I'm hoping that what's good for our pocket books will also be good for our belts. :)

Check out these facts from The Green Earth Institute:

1. Soft drink consumption rates among children have doubled in the last decade.
2. Soft drinks are currently the leading source of added sugars in the daily diet of young Americans. The
average teenager gets 15 to 20 teaspoons a day of added sugar from soft drinks alone.
3. Adolescents (aged 12-17) get 11 percent of their calories from soft drinks.
4. Carbonated sodas provide sugar, corn syrup, caffeine, and water and have been shown to cause
a decrease in vitamin A, calcium, and magnesium consumption in children. Juice and milk
provide important vitamins and minerals such as vitamins A, C, D, B-12, calcium, magnesium,
protein, and folate.
5. Frequently drinking or eating carbonated beverages, sweetened fruit drinks, fruit punches, and
high carbohydrate, starchy foods predisposes children and adolescents to tooth decay. 7
6. Scientists have suggested that caffeine – which is added to enhance the flavor of soft drinks -
induces nervousness, irritability, sleeplessness, and headaches, factors that can adversely
influence a child’s readiness to learn.

More Sodas Mean Less Calcium
1. The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that American teens drink twice as much
carbonated soda as milk
2. Girls who drank more sodas got less calcium in their diets – a situation that could lead to
osteoporosis later in life.
3. A Harvard School of Public Health study of ninth and tenth grade girls found that those who
drank colas were three times more likely to develop bone fractures, and five times more likely
if they were regularly physically active.
4. The percentage of U.S. youth who met dietary recommendations for calcium intake has gone
from 88 percent in 1988 to 52 percent in 1994 for boys and 79 percent to 19 percent for girls.
5. School-aged children in the highest soft-drink consumption category consumed less milk and
fruit juice compared with those who do not consume soft drinks.

More Sodas Lead to Childhood Obesity
1. Research has shown that for every additional serving per day of soft drink consumed, the risk of becoming obese increases by 50 percent.
2. Obesity rates have doubled in children and tripled in adolescents over the last two decades. One in seven young people are obese and one in three are overweight. Obese children are twice aslikely as non-obese children to become obese adults.
3. The prevalence of obesity among children in the United States increased by 100% between 1980 and 1994. Consumption of sugar-sweetened drinks has been identified as a factor that
could contribute to obesity.
4. Between 1989 and 1996, children’s calorie intake increased by approximately 80 to 230 extra calories per day depending on the child’s age and activity level.18 The increases in calorie intake are driven by increased intakes of foods and beverages high in added sugars.
5. Obesity contributes to increases in diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol during childhood. Overweight and obesity can also result in negative social consequences, e.g., discrimination, depression, and lower self-esteem.
6. School-aged children who did not consume soft drinks took in an average of 1,830 calories per
day, while those who consumed an ave rage of 9 ounces or more of soda per day took in an
average of 2,018 calories a day – almost 200 more calories.
7. From 1979 to 1999, annual hospital costs for treating obesity-related diseases in children rose
threefold (from $35 million to $127 million).
8. A study by Boston researchers suggested that public health efforts aimed at limiting
consumption of soft drinks in children may help prevent and treat obesity.

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