• 10Feb

    What are the bad effects of soft drinks?

    Soft drinks are consumed in huge amounts all over the world. They go with all types of food, alcoholic beverages, as well as on any occasion. There are a variety of these drinks in various colors, flavors and calorie content. As a result of increased sedentary activities in the modern world, its consumption is preferred over water consumption due to its taste, feeling and effect of advertisements.  


    Composition

    Many of these soft drinks contain carbonated water, sweetening agent, caffeine, flavoring and coloring agent. Majority of the brands are colas, other flavors include orange, lemon and citrus. The commonly used sweetening agent is high fructose corn syrup. This is preferred over sugar as it is sweeter and economical. Phosphoric or citric acid is added to increase the punch felt in the mouth. The addition of carbon dioxide to the drink increases its carbonic acid levels thereby further increasing its acidity. Caffeine acts as a stimulant. The preservatives used include sodium benzoate, sodium citrate and potassium sorbate.

    Bad effects of soft drinks

    There are various bad effects of soft drinks consumption, to the most common we can include:

    Obesity: High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) has been associated with obesity. In a clinical study involving two groups, people in one group were fed on solid carbohydrates and those in the second group were given HFCS containing beverages. The energy fed to each group was equal (450 kcal per day). It was found that people who consumed HFCS containing beverages gained more weight than those who had solid carbohydrates. This study found a positive relation of HFCS consumption and obesity. It is established that an excessive intake of calorically sweetened soft drinks is a significant factor contributing to the epidemic of obesity. Though artificially sweetened soft drinks are marketed as healthier alternatives to sugar sweetened drinks due to fewer calories, their long term effects are still not known.

    Soft drinks are consumed in huge amounts all over the world.

    Soft drinks are consumed in huge amounts all over the world.

    More than 15% of calories in the typical American’s diet are from refined sugars, majority of them being from beverages with added sugar. The overweight children who watch TV or play computer games develop habits of snacking. This leads to an excessive consumption of soft drinks over an extended period of play or entertainment. This has increased the figures of childhood obesity.

    Osteoporosis: Consumption of soft drinks has been linked to osteoporosis and an increased risk of fractures. It was found that people who drink more of soft drinks will miss out on their milk consumption with breakfast or at night. This indirectly leads to lesser intake of calcium resulting in osteoporosis. The phosphoric acid is the soft drinks may result in loss of calcium. Caffeine present in many soft drinks interferes with calcium absorption.

    Cardiovascular disease: People who drink diet soft drinks on a daily basis may be at increased risk of cardiovascular diseases like acute myocardial infarction and stroke. This is according to a study reported by Hannah Gardener, epidemiologist in the Miller School’s Department of Neurology.

     Renal stone disease and renal failure: Phosphoric acid found in colas has been found to induce the formation of kidney stones. People who consume soft drinks daily have about 15 % risk of renal stone disease and an increased risk of renal failure. The coloring agents in the soft drinks are excreted in urine. Since the kidneys in young children are not fully mature, it may result in renal damage. High fructose corn syrup is associated with hyperuricemia and progression of chronic kidney disease.

    An increased intake of soft drinks and other sweetened beverages results in an increase in total energy consumption. An excessive intake is harmful and lifestyle modification is required to prevent the above disorders. Nutritious and healthy drinks like fruit juice or soup are better alternatives for a healthy life.

    Anna L.

    It’s all about health!
    I have academic background in drugs related Chemical Technology, as well as extensive professional experience in pharma and medical companies. My main area of interest is everyday life medicine. The goal of my articles is to give people informative answers to the questions that bother them, to dispel doubts and some common misbeliefs and also to inspire everyone to keep healthy lifestyle.

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