Typically, in every 20 ounces of soda, there exist 15-18 spoonful of sugar, translating to 20 calories. Routinely a U.S teenager diet is made up of soda and sugary drinks with a minimum of 4% daily soda intake. Over the last century, the consumption of sweetened beverages especially sodas has significantly increased with a significant proportion of health practitioners calling in manufacturers of sodas to manufacture a health- drink. As a result, diet sodas have been a go-to option for many teenagers and adults who intend to adopt a healthy eating lifestyle. However, diet soda causes more damage like the previous sodas, containing lots of sugar, increased consumption of diet soda causes cancer and obesity. A study by Murray, Frankowski, and Howard reveals that the intake of diet soda results to a carcinogenic effect on the human body whose accumulation may result to cancer (107). As such, there has been an alarming rise in obesity resulting in a public health concern, with the teenagers as the most affected population. The easy access to soda in vending machines, fast food restaurants, sporting events has increased the popularity of carbonated drinks. This essay shall discuss the prevalence of soda and diet soda among U.S teens, debating the pros and cons of sugar.
The consumption of sodas, diet sodas, and sugary drinks has been on the alarming increase, and it is no coincidence that groups such as the World Health Organization, American Medical Association and Centre for Disease and Control are continually advocating for the need to limit these consumption rates. In the U.S there has been a statewide consideration to ban or restrict the sale of sodas in learning institutions. A 2011 report by the Centre for Disease and Control showed that sweetened sugar beverages a significant source of added sugars in the U.S have contributed to preventing obesity among adolescents. The study through a National Youth activity study further revealed that teenagers do not put into consideration the other health options of drinks, resulting to a teenager consuming at least two sodas a day (Centre for Disease and Control 1). In the recent years, joint efforts by the learning institutions and the federal government and its agencies have eliminated sugar through the adoption of sales taxes on sodas and other sugary beverages.
The diet soda debate has recently been a center of attention for nutritionist and medical practitioners, with many ditching the regular soda for diet soda. Not indifferent from the regular soda, diet soda contains artificial sweeteners like aspartame, an artificial sweetener includes more than 200 calories of sugar, unstable in liquid form, aspartame has been linked to medical problems such as stroke and cardiovascular illness (Murray 146). In fact, case studies have indicated that people who partake diet sodas are severely obsess than those take regular soda; the fatalness of the drink has been equated to frequent cigarette smoking.
Taking sugars often result in tooth decay among children and young adults; ordinarily, bacteria mixes with sugar in the mouth leading to the acidity of the gums and teeth. Sodas are the significant cause of tooth decay, due to the high acidity, soft drinks and diet sodas soften to the enamel, with improper dental care continuous use would result in tooth decay. Substantial consumption of soda, or even diet sodas exceeding the daily recommendation of U.S Department of Agriculture, may result in diseases such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, and other chronic breathing problems (Harrington 7). Numerous scientific studies have revealed the direct correlation of soda and intake to obesity; notably, some researchers have shown consuming one ounce of soda increases the obesity risk twice. One study, in particular, revealed that the more teenagers take pops, the quicker the Body Mass Index rises (Elsevier Health Sciences 1). Besides, artificially sweetened beverages increase the development of type 2 diabetes as such the intake of sugars results to overworking of the pancreases, an organ that releases insulin to control body sugar levels. Additionally, there is increased the risk of kidney failures due to kidney stone formation (Vartanian 670). Intake of drinks such as cola has been linked to increased acidity, in its effort to curb the bitterness the body equalizes the acidity with calcium. A study published in the Epidemiology journal reveals that drinking two or more cans of cola increases the risk of chronic kidney diseases (Aldana 505). Contrasting studies have shown the benefit of sodas and other beverage drinks, pops are carbonated drinks containing carbon dioxide and bubbly fizz, with benefits such as hydration, relieving stomach upsets. Due to for instance recommended consumption of sodas hydrate.
Evidently more and more teenagers are consuming sodas, with a significant population option for diet soda which is established to pose the imminent health risk to individuals. The availability and affordability of these beverages is the primary reason why most teenagers opt to consume it. Dangers of soda and diet soda intake include obesity, cardiovascular disorders, kidney failure, and diabetes. Learning institutions and the government are continuous enacting measures to avoid the risk of raising an obese generation.
Aldana TM, Basso O, Darden R, Sandler DP. Carbonated beverages and chronic kidney disease. Epidemiology. 2007 Jul;18(4):501-6. PubMed
Center for Disease and Control. Beverage Consumption Among High School Students --- United States Center for Disease and Control and Prevention. 2010, retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6023a2.htm?s_cid=mm6023a2_w
Elsevier Health Sciences. Soft drinks consumption may increase the risk of childhood obesity. ScienceDaily. 2005, May 11. Retrieved October 30, 2017 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/05/050511103429.htm
Harrington S. The role of sugar-sweetened beverage consumption in adolescent obesity. J Sch Nurs. 2008 Feb;24(1):3-12. PubMed
Murray, Robert, Frankowski, Barbara, Howard Taras. Are soft drinks a scapegoat for childhood obesity? The Journal of Pediatrics, 2005; 146 (5): 586 DOI: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2004.12.018
Vartanian, Lenny R., Marlene B. Schwartz, and Kelly D. Brownell. Effects of Soft Drink Consumption on Nutrition and Health: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. American Journal of Public Health 97.4 (2007): 667675. PMC. Web. 30 Oct. 2017.
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