What's Really In Soda?

By: Ian Godfrey

Do You Really Know?

What's really in soda? Do you really know what it does to you? Do you even know what you could be putting in to your body? The amount of soda consumed by Americans is causing obesity and damaging people's health, leading to disease and a poor lifestyle. Some of these diseases include heart attacks/heart disease, liver damage, high amounts of fat, cancer, and many problems that are linked to obesity.

Health Risks Linked to Soda Consumption

The Truth About Soda

-A recent study by the University of Miami found that people who drink diet soda on a daily basis showed a 48% increase in heart disease and heart attack (www.webmd.com). -Many Pediatricians have found that between 1,000-2,000 of people's calories are coming from soda alone on a daily basis (www.webmd.com)

-People who drank soda every day for 6 months showed between a 132-142% increase in liver fat, and a 117-221% increase in skeletal fat (www.rodalenews.com)

-People who consume soda have a 26% greater chance of type 2 diabetes (www.Harvard.edu)

-Woman who drank daily soda showed a 75% greater chance of gout.

-2 Ingredients in soda, 2-methylimidazole and 4-methylimidazole, have been found to cause cancer in animals but is untested in humans (www.rodalenews.com)

-Soda contains high levels of phosphate, and too much phosphate is detrimental to good bone health and can deteriorate bones (www.Harvard.edu)

Outcomes:

Some outcomes of soda consumption include weight gain and high levels of obesity. This greatly effects the physical health of the consumer due to the weight gain which can lead to obesity, heart disease, and other health problems commonly linked to obesity. This can also lead to social and mental/emotional problems due to the bullying problems that all too often come along with obesity and weight gain.

Why Do We Consume It?

The main thing that influences Americans to engage in this behavior is that it is quick and easy to get and it also gives a short burst of energy during the day, and when that burst runs out, they feel like they need more to keep them going, very similar to drug use. Another reason is that it gets highly advertised, and you see it everywhere, and the people in the advertisements are always happy and having a good time, so you feel like drinking it will make you happy. A third reason is that is that the sugar in the drink becomes addictive and when your body becomes so accustomed to having it, so in return you will provide your body with it.

How to Solve this Problem:

To reduce the disease and obesity brought on by by this terrifying, yet highly glorified drink Americans should consume more water and less soda. This will keep more sugar out of your body and also keep you better hydrated, which could actually give you more and longer lasting energy. Also not exposing your body to all of the harmful chemicals. Another way is to cut soda consumption so that you are only drinking it every once in a while, and only during or at certain events, this means you can still enjoy the soda, but you aren't consuming so much that you harm your body. A third was it to exercise when you drink soda so that you burn off the sugars that you consumed so that it doesn't turn into fat.

What to Be Aware of:

People need to be more aware of the amount of soda they consume and how much sugar and chemicals that leads them to be consuming as well. Also that soda doesn't give long term energy, and no matter how much they drink, they still will crash. Another is that just because it is easy to get and portable doesn't mean that you should be consuming it. Remind yourself of all of the harmful content within soda and ask yourself if it is really worth it, is it really worth a good lifestyle and a longer, happier life.

How to Get Further Information:

For more information on the health risks of soda go to http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/healthy-drinks/soft-drinks-and-disease/, www.webmd.com, or www.rodalenews.com. They are all nonprofit websites that will not request any money from you and get all of their information from trained professionals.
Soda is a modern day cigarette. It is causing obesity, damaging health, leading to disease and ultimately causing a poor lifestyle. Is it really worth it?