Another Reason To Not Drink Soda

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Because most people, even those who drink a lot of soda, know that it is bad for you, it may seem unnecessary to write about the latest findings. I have written before about the dangers of this popular drink, and how to stop drinking soda, but I fell it is important to periodically bring this topic back to the top of the blog. So in the hope that this may help someone reduce or stop their soda consumption, here is another bit of evidence in the case against drinking this unhealthy beverage.

Researchers wondered if the high per capita soda consumption might be a factor in a specific disorder known as metabolic syndrome. People with this condition have all or most of the several risk factors for heart disease and diabetes. These include high levels of cholesterol, sugar and fat in the blood.

What they found was that people who drank soda on a regular basis, even only one can per day, had almost twice the incidence of metabolic syndrome as people who did not consume soda at these rates. The soda drinkers also had a much higher rate of several other health risk factors, including obesity.

One surprising finding was that whether the soda was regular or sugar-free did not matter. This points to two possibilities. First, maybe the artificial sweetener in diet soda has a similar effect on people’s cravings. High sweetness levels may condition people to eat other high fat and sugar foods. Another possibility, and the one I think may be the most likely culprit, is that people who regularly drink soda have a less healthy diet overall, hence their higher levels of disease.

This last theory makes perfect sense to me. If you are a person who has made a choice not to drink soda, it is very likely that you have also made other healthy diet and lifestyle choices. So as has been said many times before, if you regularly drink soda, drastically reduce or stop your consumption. Soda is definitely one of those things where none is best.

Now I just wonder about the health effects of all those “energy” drinks that have become so popular.

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Will Sig
1 Allison

Another reason I am so proud to say I stopped drinking soda years ago!

…yes, I wonder about those “energy” drinks, too. There is no way they are even okay for you!

Allisons last blog post..Wordless Wednesday: Dinner Time!

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2 Swubird

Will:

You are so right on this one, and I whole heartedly agree with the findings related to soda consumption.

Personally, I have never consumed much soda, it just doesn’t appeal to me that much. But I know someone who can’t go two days without a cold can of Pepsi. I have warned her on numerous occasions, but she thinks that low-cal soda is okay. It is clearly a case where the thirst for something sweet out weighs caution. Even if she reads information like this post, it makes no difference – there’s always a counter rationalization to explain away the negative aspects of soda consumption.

Very interesting post.

Happy trails.

Swubirds last blog post..LADY GODIVA

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3 Sage

Any comments on ice tea? I do use sugar to sweeten my ice tea…and I try & use a little. Any suggestions on other ways to add a wee bit of sweetness to ice tea & even coffee? I also like sodas but have taken the steps not to drink it anymore. I also drink plenty of water and stay away from any added sugars in juices etc.
Thx for this site & comments…

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4 Dianne - Bunny Trails

UGH – I am horribly guilty of the soda drinking issue. I know, I know, I know it’s so bad for me. There are many areas of my life, health-wise, that need cleaning up and this one is pretty much at the top of the list.

Thank you for sharing this information.

On the sports drinks/flavored water matter – I wonder about that too. In the case of my son, who just won’t drink enough fluids ever, I feel that some gatorade is better than nothing at this point.

Dianne – Bunny Trailss last blog post..Wordless Wednesday – Walk in the Rain

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5 JD

Will, do you have a link to reporting on the study you referenced so we can see it in more detail?

And Sage, as far as my reading goes, you are far far better using a little Demerara Sugar or other unrefined cane sugar than anything else out there.

JDs last blog post..This Weekend’s Movies

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6 Josh Stodola

I used to chug mountain dew like there was no tomorrow. Now, at age 22, I hardly drink any pop at all. I could seriously notice fewer stomach aches thereafter. The fizziness just doesn’t appeal to me any more. I’d rather have Gatorade, juice, or even water.

Now, if only I could focus on eliminating all the greasy food and coffee.

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7 Will

Hey JD – This was one of those annoying studies that you need to pay for to read the whole thing. Here is a link to that site if interested. It was also covered by, I think, the BBC and The New York Times.

And Swubird – Your friend who drinks a can of soda every couple of days is probably not doing much harm. The average soda drinker in the US drinks a lot more than that, something like 20 oz per day. Since that is per capita and also counts those who don’t drink any at all, the people who do drink soda are consuming a lot more than a Pepsi every other day. Other factors come into it also. If your diet is already poor or you are overweight, the risk of metabolic syndrome is higher.

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8 Anna

Its been years since I drank any type of soda. We have in the fridge for guests, bad thing, but we still offer water or juice. Actually when I travelled I used to order gingerale on the plane, but when I found out that there was no ginger in the soda, I was very dissapointed that I stopped supporting Canada Dry Gingerale. The funny thing same happened to us when we picked up some ginger cookies from Walmart the other day, no ginger, sucks – because we just would not eat them at all. Will, the best thing is to train your mind and visualize what the bad stuff can do to you, and watch all the unhealthy stuff will not cross your mind. Great post as always, Anna 🙂

Annas last blog post..Miracle of Life – My Baby Matthew

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9 Steve

hi Will. My top three reasons not to drink (too much) SODA POP. 1. It makes you FAT. 2. It’s bad for your TEETH (did you ever do the “experiment” in grade school where you left a tooth in Coke overnight?) 3. It costs money. ~ But what can you drink then, you ask? Actually, theres a new drink available now. 1. It doesn’t make you FAT. 2. It’s good for your TEETH (it rinses them). 3. It’s free. It’s called water (no, not the kind in a bottle that you pay an arm and a leg for, the kind that comes out of the metal pipe like thing on the sink in your kitchen). But imagine what would happen to our economy if everyone drank less POP and more WATER. I wouldn’t want to be responsible for that! Good post. ~ Steve

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10 Stomach Exercises

I agree with you on this one.

Btw, My favorite reason to stop drinking soda is it can do wonders for your belly. =)

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11 Lindsay

Good post and I think there is nothing wrong with repeating good information or posts on similar topics. I think you are right that the difference in the populations of those choosing to stop drinking soda and those who don’t correlate with other wise decisions. I still do drink some soda but a reasonably small amount. I figure it would be better if I stopped totally, but some improvement is better than none.

Lindsays last blog post..Methods to Treat Addiction

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12 TA

Hi Will! your posts are very helpful as Im doing some research on why people drink soda, knowing its bad! like what appeals to them, is it stress the caffeine the taste? or because its rebellious! i hope some off you’ll can post and reply to this, so i know why soda is so appealing, and also why you’ll dont drink it anymore! 🙂
Thanks

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13 amanda

I am one of those people who drink soda constant knowing its bad. I grew up on it. A meal doesn’t taste the same without it. I have a very poor diet because of ibs and the acid in juices hurt, never liked coffee or alcohol. When I have a busy schedule and don’t make time to eat a soda can hold me over. I did go a while without drinking it and felt great but must of gotten hungry one day and used a soda to get threw it. Id like to quit again but know if I don’t find a drink to replace it with it won’t last?

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14 Andrew

I can’t help but wonder if I had an exact clone, only that clone drank soda every day like it seems most people do. How much healthier would I be than him? I have some trouble understanding why someone would put so much sugar in their bodies
I drink like a soda a month, if that. All i drink is water, orange juice, and milk.

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15 Will

Thanks for your comment, Andrew! There are no certain results, but you can be sure your clone that drank soda every day would probably be heavier than you, all other things being equivalent. Your clone would also have a much higher risk of diabetes. There is some recent research that even people who drink diet soda have serious health risks associated with that.

Your choice of beverages is a smarter one. Just be alert for other things in your lifestyle that can put your health at risk.

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16 larry

My dad averaged at least a beer a day. I drink two sodas a day, an improvement. Perhaps my son will drink a soda a day; then my grandson will drink water only. It’s all about leaving room for improvement here, folks:). It’s about taking one for the team.

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17 Grace Wismer

I think the water is better than soda.I suspect those “energy” drinks,too.

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18 Derek Daniels

I average about 6-7 pepsi’s a day and between 1 and 4 energy drinks on top of that. I am underweight and my blood pressure is below average. I can run a 3 mile in 20 minutes with no training and my diet of whatever I can find. I never drink straight water, I always mix it with lemonade or gatorade mix and I hardly ever get cavities. Hurray genetics.

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19 Will

Hey Derek – Genetics is a big factor. That sort of approach may eventually catch up to you though. Are you still young? Under 40 years? One problem is that younger people that do not have a healthy diet and lifestyle do not notice any problems simply because of their age. It often catches up to them and sometimes by then it is too late.

Thanks for your comment!

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20 Nathan

With regards to sugar free sodas the artificial sweetener aspartame used has been linked to cancer and people can often be allergic leading to very unpleasant side effects. In my opinion it is not a worthwhile substitute due to the hidden risks and long list of possible side effects.

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21 Doug

There was an article published in Vogue a few months ago about a study in artificial sweeteners. It said that the sweeteners in diet sodas are actually addictive, and the rats they fed diet soda to could never lose any of the weight they gained, while ones that had drinks made will real sugar were able to lose weight by dieting. I realize that rats are not humans, but it was very interesting and eye opening.
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22 Chiibi

I will NEVER stop, dammit! It tastes so good and I don’t really drink that much anyway, I stay away from caffeinated ones (maybe half a glass twice a month at most) but I will NOT stop drinking my eight ounces of Sierra Mist every day-it’s way too refreshing! And I’m skinny and underweight and always have been so :p

Life is too short for crappy bland stuff like water!

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23 Anonymous

Just like the cigarette packaging, soda manufacturers should also place a warning sign in their packaging that says “Warning: Too much soda is not good” But who the heck will put that.

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24 Susan Bewley

Soda is so bad for you, but it is also very hard to quit. I blame most of my weight loss on soda. I ate healthy, lots of fruits and veggies, but would drink nealry a 2 liter of Soda a day to stay awake in college between working full time and being a full time college student. I went from a healthy weight to obese doing that for years. I have been working hard to get rid of it with my weight loss routine (over 20lb, woot!) and am happy that I have it down to an occasional treat. I think it does more harm to our body than we know. I know can also not have anything with Carmel coloring without it making me sick.
Susan Bewley recently posted..How to Be Healthy in CollegeMy Profile

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25 Will

Hi Susan – Congrats on your progress. Yes, cutting out soda completely is one of the biggest boosts you can provide to your health.

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