The 1971 Soda Pop commercial filled our hearts with love and made the makers of diabetic supplies rich.
So, what are you drinking right now? Did you know that recent studies show that the average person drinks 50 gallons of soda a year? That is a little more than 533 twelve ounce cans per year and comes out to a daily average of nearly 18 ounces per day. Soft drinks are one of the largest single sources of calories in the diet of every American accounting for up to 7 percent and for teenagers, even higher at approximately 13%. What does this mean? To put into perspective, these numbers reflect roughly 60,000 EMPTY calories per year...calories that provide little or no nutritional value, but are often stored as sugars in our bodies.
Soda is one of the largest contributors of caloric intake in society today. As we all know, extra calories mean extra weight and that leads to health problems. Problems related to the heart, tooth decay, and Type 2 Diabetes (formerly called "Adult Onset").
OK, so nobody ever said that soft drinks were a health food. But a highly debated 2004 Harvard study concluded that in addition to the bad things we already know about sodas, they may be directly contributing to the nation's increase in diabetes. Since 1980, the incidence of type-2 diabetes has more than doubled according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and now represents about 6% of the total population. AND, about the majority of that increase has come in just the last 10 years.
No one is saying that our thirst for the carbonated "sugar shots" are the sole cause of the nation's growing number of jello butts and spare tire bellies. But, it is hard not to correlate the huge increase in diabetic incidence to the rise in obesity.
The bottom line here is that you need to analyze everything you eat and drink. You do not have to give up sodas entirely, but enjoy them responsibly and save them as a rare treat...as they were originally intended.
SOME EXTRA INFO ON SODAS, OBESITY, and DIABETES:
Diet Sodas Linked with Health Risks
Zero calories, same great taste (and heart risks)
And a Companion Piece from the Wellness Tips Blog
Diet Intervention for Overweight and Obese Kids