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Many of us know the influence that soda has on our culture through the iconic logos and marketing commercials. These popular drinks make up a large part of what we see on the television, stacked up in the grocery store, and most importantly, what we crave.
Unfortunately, the liquid candy is not the best choice to quench your thirst. The American Heart Association linked soda to causing over 180,000 obesity-related deaths worldwide every year. A study by Yale University found that most Americans know soda is unhealthy, but 48% consume it anyway with a whopping 2.5 glasses daily.
Here are the top eight reasons why you should grab water instead of soda:
1. Weight Gain
Drinking soda leads to fat buildup due to its extra sugar and calorie content. There is no escaping it – even diet soda adds on pounds. The American Diabetes Association found that drinking regular or diet soda is associated with a wider waist. Soda drinkers are subject to a 140% increase in liver fat, a 220% increase in skeletal fat, a 30% increase in both triglyceride blood fats and other organ fat, and an 11% increase in cholesterol.
2. Causes Cancer
The artificial brown coloring used in Coke, Pepsi, and other colas has 2 deadly contaminants: 2-methylimidazole and 4-methylimidazole. In California’s strict Proposition 65 list of chemicals known to cause cancer, just 16 micrograms of 4-methylimidazole daily can cause a cancer threat. Most brown colas contain 200 micrograms per 20-ounce bottle. Do the math!
3. Medical Conditions
The Harvard School of Public Health found that drinking just one soda daily was linked to a 20% increase risk of having a heart attack. Soda consumption is individually linked to heart disease, Metabolic Syndrome, Osteoporosis, Type 2 Diabetes, Fatty Liver Disease, and memory loss. Out of 2,600 adults, those who drank diet soda regularly were 40% more likely to have a heart attack or stroke.
4. Accelerates Aging
All colas contain phosphates aka phosphoric acid, which gives colas their tangy flavor and improves their shelf life. A study by FASEB Journal found that soda’s phosphate levels caused rats to die five weeks earlier than those with normal levels. What’s worse? Soda manufacturers keep increasing the levels of phosphoric acid over the past few decades.
5. Bad Teeth
Dentists blame soda’s extra high sugar content to be the leading cause for cavities, especially in children. The sugar and acids in soda produce an acid that dissolves tooth enamel. Soda causes tooth decay, and weakened gums and jawbones. Stop drinking soda for the sake of healthy teeth.
Most aluminum soda cans are lined with Bisphenol A (BPA) to keep the acids in soda from reacting with the metal. BPA is known to interfere with hormones, infertility, obesity, diabetes, and reproductive cancers. Currently, no soda company is willing to switch to BPA-free aluminum cans.
7. Future Side Effects
Most of the ingredients in soda are corn derivatives, of which 88% in the U.S. is genetically modified to resist toxic pesticides. Currently there are no human studies that show the effects of GMO corn. Scientists have found that genetically modified crops fed to animals are linked to cancer, organ damage, accelerated aging, and infertility.
8. Environmental Harm
Some artificial chemicals used in sodas don’t break down in our bodies and wastewater-treatment plants don’t stop them from entering waterways. 19 municipal water supplies in the U.S. showed a strong presence of the sweetener sucralose. Although the effects of chemical runoff in the water supply are unknown as of recent, it can’t be a good thing. The “Great Pacific Garbage Patch” is a mass of debris in the Pacific Ocean and is composed of soda bottles and netting. Thousands of birds and marine wildlife mistake plastic for food which causes their deaths.
Ultimately, soda has bittersweet consequences that increase with every sip you take. Only time will tell the side effects that soda has on the human population. From what we do know now, if you put down the soda and drink water, you will feel better, be healthier, and it will show in the short and long term.