The Truth about Soda and Diet Soda

By Heather Darling

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​Soft drinks used to be just the occasional beverage, unfortunately now they have become one of the number one sources of extra calories in the American diet. This is bad news with the truth being that one third of our country is overweight and another third is obese. Sadly enough research has demonstrated that there is a direct correlation between the consumption of sugary drinks and the increase in obesity which leads to diabetes, heart disease, stroke and many more health problems.

​Fast facts about soda:
  • One soda a day per child can increase the risk of obesity by 60% ( Lancet 2010)
  • One to two sodas per day increases the risk of type 2 diabetes by 25% (Diabetes Care 2010)
  • The sugars and acids in sodas promote tooth decay
  • Diabetes is the cause of more than 60000 amputations in the us each year (CDC)
  • Americans consume about 38lbs a year from sugary drinks- the American Heart Association is urging Americans to consume 60% less sugary drinks by 2020 in order to reverse the unhealthy health trend and create a healthier America.( NCHS Data Brief, 2011)

It is no wonder sodas are amongst the worst drinks available due to the large amounts of sugar leading to an increased risk of diabetes. Due to this fact people have been switching to diet soda, which is not necessarily better. Diet soda is less in calories but may actually increase risks of diabetes. Research has shown there is a craving effect with “light” sodas and the consumption is almost double versus those who drink regular sodas. Aspartame (the chemical in diet soda) has shown to cause higher cravings for sugar leading to binges which then may lead to higher risks of diabetes and other health problems. Even though Aspartame does not contain sugar, it has some similar physiological effects which increase blood sugar levels and higher insulin levels and lead to type 2 diabetes. Diet sodas also may confuse the taste buds so with regular consumption other naturally sweet foods, such as fruit, will no longer taste good. Along with the potential rise in type 2 diabetes which is still under debate and investigation, there is a direct role in the increase in metabolic disorder which encompasses the following: type 2 diabetes, hypertension, central obesity, and other complications.

Do you know your sugar intake? Are you a soda or diet soda drinker? Are you worried about the impact it’s having on your overall health? Come have an assessment and talk with our team of professionals at the LiVe Well Center and find out more.