Soda is addictive
The addictive properties of soda come from a number of its ingredients–first, the caffeine. Caffeine causes children to be addicted to soda, and some might be more susceptible to caffeine’s effects due to their smaller body weight.
Plus, sugar also leads to an addiction complete with cravings and withdrawals. Diet soda is not the solution either as it contains artificial sweeteners that can trick the brain into wanting more.
Soda has no nutritional value
Although this may seem obvious, soda is not providing much needed nutrition to our bodies. It does, however, provide empty calories and can suppress the appetite. Consuming soda may cause children to eat less of the foods they need to fuel their bodies. Those who drink soda regularly are also more likely to get less than the recommended amount of vitamin A, calcium, and magnesium, an important mineral to overall health.
Soda is harming children’s brains
When a kid drinks soda, they are consuming chemicals that can alter their brain. MSG can be presence in the citric acid of soda, as well as in the artificial flavors. This excitotoxin has been shown to damage the neurons in the brain of mice. In addition, high levels of excitotoxins have been linked to brain tumours, diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease, brain damage, learning disorders and behavioral problems.
Aspartame, found in diet soda, is causing the same effect. Long-term consumption of aspartame leads to an imbalance in the brain. Aspartame’s methanol content is also concerning for brain health, as it converts to formaldehyde, a known neurotoxin.
Soda is weakening kids’ bones
Drinking soda can actually deplete bones of much needed calcium. Phosphorus, a common ingredient in soda, leads to bone loss when in disproportionate levels to calcium. Caffeine is also a culprit here, as it is known to interfere with the absorption of calcium and bone density.
Soda is causing bad behavior
The possible reasons for behavior issues from children who drink soda are many. It could be from the caffeine, sugar, artificial colors, or blood sugar spikes and drops. According to a survey of more than 3000 mothers, children who drank soda were more aggressive, withdrawn, and had trouble paying attention.
Soda is destroying kids’ teeth
Sugar isn’t good for teeth, and neither are the acids within soda. Both the citric acid and phosphorus can wear away tooth enamel and lead to decay.
Soda is contributing to childhood diabetes
Mice fed artificial sweeteners, like aspartame found in diet sodas, developed glucose intolerance, which can be an early sign of metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes. What’s more frightening, is simply drinking soda in moderation may not reduce the risk. As little as one single 12 ounce can of soda a day can increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 22%.
Kids who like the sweetness of soda are more likely to be overweight
A two year study of 3-5 year olds determined that the consumption of sugary beverages significantly increased the likelihood of childhood obesity. In addition, children who developed a preference for fatty or sweet foods were more inclined to be overweight. Even choosing diet soda to avoid sugar won’t prevent this, because aspartame increases sugar cravings by telling the brain to consume more.
Soda can lead to heart disease
When we are talking about children, heart disease rarely comes up in the conversation. However, with the news that just one soda a day can increase the risk of a cardiovascular event by 61%, it’s a conversation worth having. That same amount of soda is also linked to a 19% increase in heart disease. Considering the risk of a soda dependence, children who begin drinking soda are more likely to consume it regularly. Over the span of their lifetime they will consume far more soda than someone who began drinking it in adulthood, increasing their risks.
10. Soda can inhibit digestion
Soda and caffeine are diuretics and can lead to dehydration, especially if soda is replacing water. Sugar and caffeine can increase the level of acids in the stomach leading to irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Carbonation is also a common IBS trigger, as it results in more gas.
Watch this space for our next article on what can you do, if your kids are already addicted to soda. Stay tuned!