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Soft Drinks Are the New Tobacco: Health Risks of Soda

After decades of drinking Dr. Pepper at breakfast and throughout the day, FlourishAnyway gave up soda cold turkey for health reasons.

Mmmmm, Liquid Candy

What is soda doing to your body?  Are you brave enough to face the facts?

What is soda doing to your body? Are you brave enough to face the facts?

Don't Shoot the Messenger. I'm Addicted, Too!

I've been without sugary refreshment for nearly 24 hours. I'm cranky, exhausted and have a screaming headache. Caffeine is my drug of choice, and if someone offered to hook me up to an IV of Dr. Pepper, I'd probably take them up on it.

Addicted? You bet. I enjoy soda's sweet taste as well as its quick energy boost, although I worry about the long term health effects.

Whether you refer to your liquid candy as pop, sodas, soft drinks, or by its brand name, nutritionally you know it's no good. Worse yet, soda is packed with guilty pleasures — caffeine, sugar, and calories — that together confer more health risks than most of us even realize. It's time to get real, to face cold sugary facts.

Reader Poll:

The soft drink industry has fought attempts to tax and further regulate its harm-producing products.  It has also tended to shift responsibility to consumers.

The soft drink industry has fought attempts to tax and further regulate its harm-producing products. It has also tended to shift responsibility to consumers.

Are Soft Drinks the New Tobacco?

For decades we've looked the other way while tobacco, alcohol and fast food have taken the brunt from those who wanted to regulate consumer products that cause harm. Now, it seems that soft drinks are the new tobacco.

Among the methods that regulators have recently used to try to control the impact of soft drinks include the following (see table below):

From consumption taxes to product warning labels, politicians have introduced a number of methods to regulate soft drinks.  Results have been mixed thus far.

From consumption taxes to product warning labels, politicians have introduced a number of methods to regulate soft drinks. Results have been mixed thus far.

Recent Attempts to Regulate the Soda Industry

Attempted Mode of RegulationExample(s)Result

Impose a "Sin" Tax

Penny-an-ounce soda tax in Berkeley, California.

In 2014, the California measure passed, becoming the first of its kind in the nation.

Regulate Portion Sizes

New York City's Soda Ban limited portion sizes of sugar-sweetened drinks to 16 oz. for all restaurants, fast-food establishments, delis, movie theaters, sports stadiums and food carts

In 2014, the New York Court of Appeals ruled that the regulation exceeds the scope of the NYC Board of Health's Authority.

Add Health Risk Warning Labels

California proposed adding a warning label to sugar-sweetened beverages: "Drinking beverages with added sugar(s) contributes to obesity, diabetes, and tooth decay."

The 2014 bill was rejected by the California Assembly Health Committee.

Restrict Availability

In 2006, California began to phase out soda from being sold in vending machines in schools.

In 2010, the USDA passed federal guidelines restricting the availability of sodas and sports drinks sold in high schools to 60 calories or less in a 12-ounce serving.

Require Calorie Count Labeling on Menus

California passed a menu-labeling law in 2009 that required nutritional information to be displayed on menus of chain restaurants.

The federal Affordable Care Act of 2010 was modeled after California's law. In 2015, the FDA issued regulations requiring menu calorie counts for chain restaurants and vending machines.

Sugary beverages are loaded with calories and are associated with a variety of health consequences.  Don't look to diet sodas as healthy consequences, however.

Sugary beverages are loaded with calories and are associated with a variety of health consequences. Don't look to diet sodas as healthy consequences, however.

Reader Poll

Dr. Pepper: 23 Flavors of Caffeinated Sugary Awesomeness

I love this stuff so much it hurts. At least it's gluten-free.

I love this stuff so much it hurts. At least it's gluten-free.

Guilty Pleasures: Caffeine, Sugar, and Calories Per Can Of Soda

SodaCaffeine per 12 oz. (355 mL)Sugar per 12 oz (355 mL)Calories per 12 oz (355 mL)

A&W Root Beer

0 mg

46.5 g

180

Mtn Dew (regular)

54 mg

46 g

170

Barq's Root Beer

22.5 mg

45 g

160

Dr Pepper (regular)

41 mg

40 g

150

Pepsi

38 mg

41 g

150

7 up (regular)

0 mg

38 g

140

Coca-Cola Classic

34 mg

39 g

140

Sprite (regular)

0 mg

38 g

140

Sierra Mist (regular)

0 mg

29 g

120

Diet Sierra Mist

0 mg

0 g*

0

Diet Coke

45 mg

0 g*

4

Diet Pepsi

35 mg

0 g**

0

Diet Dr. Pepper

41 mg

0 g*

0

Diet Mtn Dew

54 mg

0 g*

0

Sugary Drinks Increase Your Diabetes Risk

People who enjoy 1 or 2 cans or more of sugary drinks daily have a 26% chance of developing Type 2 diabetes.  Diet sodas and fruit drinks are not recommended as healthier alternatives.

People who enjoy 1 or 2 cans or more of sugary drinks daily have a 26% chance of developing Type 2 diabetes. Diet sodas and fruit drinks are not recommended as healthier alternatives.

Diabetes

Is the road to diabetes paved with sugary beverages? Research says "yes," indicating that people who enjoy one or two cans or more of sugary drinks daily have a 26% chance of developing Type 2 diabetes.1 Another study found that even when body weight is controlled for over a 10-year period, a person's Type 2 diabetes risk increases by 13% for each daily serving of sugar-sweetened beverage they enjoy.2 Artificially sweetened beverages such as diet sodas or fruit juices are not recommended as healthier alternatives.

It's Like Drinking Candy

Some people eat their candy while others drink it, too, in the form of soft drinks.

Some people eat their candy while others drink it, too, in the form of soft drinks.

Drinking A Soda: Like Mainlining Sugar

Sodas are like mainlining sugar. One 12-ounce can often exceeds 100% of the daily recommended limit of added sugar.

About 20 minutes after you finish your can of soda, your body responds to the extreme sweetness of the drink with a jolt in blood sugar levels. Your liver gets busy converting all of the sugar into fat. Over time, this sugar overload can create insulin resistance even in people who are within a normal weight range.

Sugar Shock

The American Heart Association recommends daily limits of: 9 teaspoons (44.4 g) for men and 6 teaspoons (29.6 g) for women. One 12-ounce can of soda often exceeds 100% of the daily recommended limit of added sugar.

Metabolic Mayhem

Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of conditions:   high blood pressure, abnormal cholesterol levels, excessive body fat around the midriff, and high blood sugar levels. Together, these conditions are linked with heart disease, diabetes and stroke risk.

Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of conditions: high blood pressure, abnormal cholesterol levels, excessive body fat around the midriff, and high blood sugar levels. Together, these conditions are linked with heart disease, diabetes and stroke risk.

Obesity

America is a nation that is bursting at its seams — our pant seams, that is. Two out of three American adults and one out of three American children are obese.3 And sugar-loaded soft drinks are a major contributing factor.4 (Click here to calculate your BMI, if you dare.)

Both soft drink consumption and obesity rates have doubled since the 1970s so that now sugar-sweetened beverages are the largest source of calories in the American diet.5 About one in four Americans gets at least 200 calories daily from sugary drinks. Are you one of them? (Unfortunately, I am!)

Are Sodas Giving You A Spare Tire?

A hallmark of metabolic syndrome is the clustering of weight around the middle.

A hallmark of metabolic syndrome is the clustering of weight around the middle.

The Problem with Drinking Your Calories

The problem with drinking your calories, however, (as in the form of sugar sweetened beverages) is that your body doesn't register that you are full. As a result, those calories are simply wasted.

Still, you may be tempted to dismiss your daily soda habit as unlikely to cause harm. If so, consider this: over the period of one year, that one daily soda results in 50 pounds of added sugar in your diet.6 Are you truly exercising that much to compensate?

One or two sodas daily will also put you at 20% greater risk of metabolic syndrome which along with high blood pressure, abnormal cholesterol levels, and high blood sugar levels involves excessive body fat around the midriff. Together, these conditions are linked with greater risks for heart disease, diabetes and stroke.

Regular Soda Drinkers: Risk of Becoming Overweight or Obese

 Regular SodaDiet Soda

up to 1/2 can per day

26%

36.5%

1/2 to 1 can per day

30.4%

37.5%

1 to 2 cans per day

32.8%

54.5%

Here's How Diet Sodas Help To Make You Fatter

What Are You Drinking? pH Levels of Common Beverages

BeveragepHBeveragepH

Sunny Delight

2.40

Pepsi One

3.05

Pepsi

2.49

Snapple Tea

3.20

RC Cola

2.50

Mountain Dew

3.22

Country Time Lemonade

2.50

Orange Juice

3.30-4.15

Cherry Coke

2.52

Red Wine

3.40-3.50

Coke Classic

2.53

Diet Mountain Dew

3.34

Orange Crush

2.70

Diet Coke

3.39

Powerade

2.75

Diet Dr. Pepper

3.41

Mr. Pibb

2.80

Sprite

3.42

Hawaiian Fruit Punch

2.82

Beer

4.00

Dr. Pepper

2.92

A&W Root Beer

4.30

Gatorade

2.95

Cow's Milk

6.40-6.80

Sierra Mist

3.00

Pure Water

7.00

White Wine

3.00

Tea

7.20

Refreshing? Yes, but ...

Soda pops bathe your teeth in acid which over time can weaken enamel.

Soda pops bathe your teeth in acid which over time can weaken enamel.

Soft Drinks and Your Teeth: A Rotten Combination?

Each gulp of sugar-sweetened beverage represents an acid bath for your teeth. The sugar and preservatives in soda combine youe mouth's bacteria to form acid, attacking tooth enamel for 20 minutes after you start drinking. (Diet sodas have their own acids and are similarly harmful to teeth.)

Tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the human body, but unfortunately when it's damaged it cannot be replaced. (That's because it's not a living tissue.)

Teeth with weakened enamel may appear yellower, more translucent around the edges, pockmarked, rounded, and uneven. They can also be more sensitive to hot and cold, and you may experience discomfort. One research case study graphically demonstrated that when it comes to oral care, drinking too much soda ("soda mouth") looks an awful lot like like "meth mouth" (the damage done by methamphetamines).7

Don't Let Soda Destroy Your Teeth

Soda Mouth

A case study graphically demonstrated that the effects of soda consumption ("soda mouth") can look an awful lot like "meth mouth."

A case study graphically demonstrated that the effects of soda consumption ("soda mouth") can look an awful lot like "meth mouth."

But Wait ... There's More

Soft drink drinkers clearly understand that their favorite beverages contain no nutritional value. And as refreshing as soft drinks taste, it's tempting to turn a deaf ear to mounting health concerns.

But yet there are more:

  • Regular sodas feature high fructose corn syrup as their main ingredient. This can increase triglyceride levels and set you up for cardiovascular disease and stroke. Diet sodas can likewise lead to elevated triglyceride levels.8
  • Habitual soda drinking is associated with DNA changes as the protective caps on chromosomes degenerate more quickly.9
  • Phosphoric acid gives soda its tangy fizz, but it can deplete the body's calcium levels and contributes to lower bone density, osteoporosis, kidney stones, and kidney disease.
  • Other ingredients and additives in soda have been linked with the following health conditions: asthma, eczema, seizures, tumors, childhood ADHD, hypoglycemia, pancreatic cancer, hives, asthma, memory loss, nerve disorders, and tumors.10,11

Is It Worth the Potential Consequences?

Soda tastes so good, but it may not be worth the consequences. In researching this article, I've decided to make a positive change for myself. I've been addicted to soda for over 25 years. Now, finally, I'm going soda-free — first gradually and then completely. Join me if you dare!

Are you willing to suffer the potential health risks of this harmful consumer product? Are you worth making a change? I bet you are!


A Sad Goodbye But It's For the Best

The single biggest source of added sugar in the American diet is sugar sweetened beverages such as sodas.

The single biggest source of added sugar in the American diet is sugar sweetened beverages such as sodas.

Notes

1Vartanian LR, Schwartz MB, Brownell KD. Effects of soft drink consumption on nutrition and health: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Am J Public Health. 2007;97:667-75.

2Thompson, D. (2015, July 21). High Soda Intake May Boost Diabetes Risk, Even Without Obesity. Retrieved from http://consumer.healthday.com/diabetes-information-10/misc-diabetes-news-181/high-soda-intake-ups-diabetes-risk-even-without-obesity-701539.html.

3Ogden CL, Carroll MD, Kit BK, Flegal KM. Prevalence of obesity and trends in body mass index among US children and adolescents, 1999-2010. JAMA. 2012;307:483-90.

4Institute of Medicine. Accelerating Progress in Obesity Prevention: Solving the Weight of the Nation. Washington, DC: National Academies Press; 2012.

5Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. "Sugary Drinks." Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Accessed March 26, 2016. http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/healthy-drinks/sugary-drinks/.

61 Soda A Day Equals 50 Pounds Of Sugar A Year, Says NYC Health Department. (2011, October 26). Retrieved from http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2011/10/25/1-soda-a-day-equals-50-pounds-of-sugar-a-year-says-nyc-health-department/.

7 'Soda Mouth' Can Look A Lot Like 'Meth Mouth'. (2013, May 29). Retrieved from http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2013/05/29/187050058/soda-mouth-can-look-a-lot-like-meth-mouth.

8Rogers, C. D. (2013, August 16). Do Diet Sodas Affect Triglycerides? Retrieved from http://www.livestrong.com/article/526602-do-diet-sodas-affect-triglycerides/

9Ghorayshi, Azeen. "Sugary Soft Drinks May Be Linked to Accelerated DNA Ageing." The Guardian. Last modified October 16, 2016. http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/oct/16/sugar-soft-drinks-dna-ageing-study.

10Kamo, M. (2015, April 15). The 16 Hidden Secrets Nobody Tells You About Soda. Retrieved from http://www.nutritionsecrets.com/the-16-hidden-secrets-nobody-tells-you-about-soda/.

11Chang, L. (2010, February 8). Pancreatic Cancer Linked to Sodas? Retrieved from http://www.webmd.com/cancer/pancreatic-cancer/news/20100208/pancreatic-cancer-linked-sodas.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2015 FlourishAnyway

Comments

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on November 14, 2018:

Thelma - It's great that you haven't developed that habit. There are so many people who drink it instead of coffee for breakfast. Thanks for reading.

Thelma Alberts from Germany and Philippines on November 14, 2018:

Thanks for all the informations. I am not so fond of soda but sometimes I drink it when I am with friends who are drinking soda. I never thought that the diet soda is more dangerous than the regular one. Have a great day!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on July 29, 2017:

James - I agree. If you can tax cigarettes with all the harm that they do, why not add a tax to these sugary drinks? As with tobacco, if you raise the taxes high enough, people may rethink their choices. Thanks for sharing that information.

James C Moore from The Great Midwest on July 29, 2017:

Hi Flourish Anyway,

Recently, Cook County, IL enacted a penny per ounce beverage tax on sugary drinks. I don't live in Cook Cy but I do work there and purchase food and drinks there often. I say woohoo! to the tax. When you consider how these drinks contribute to our national epidemic of diabetes and the cost associated with that dreadful condition, I don't think you can tax these things enough.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on March 25, 2016:

Audrey - You are way too kind! Thank you so much for your encouragement and for sharing. It was just the boost I needed. Have a wonderful weekend!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on March 25, 2016:

Peggy - What a good use for soda, especially for those red fire ants! Thanks for sharing!

Audrey Hunt from Idyllwild Ca. on March 23, 2016:

I wanna be a writer like you when I grow up:). Seriously - this is the best on HubPages. You had me in the palm of your hand from beginning to end.

I gave up soft drinks and fruit juice a long time ago after learning how damaging it is to the entire body. Thanks so much for such an informative hub. Sharing everywhere with everyone.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on March 23, 2016:

We do not drink soft drinks but occasionally get them for free when purchasing a 'meal deal' at our local grocery store. I found another use for them. If poured on ant hills they kill the ants. It is probably the carbonation that works. Good article! Will share!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on March 08, 2016:

breathing - After having been addicted to Dr. Pepper for over 20 years (oh and I LOVED it, too, even drinking it for breakfast), I gave it up cold turkey in September. (Other colas don't really tempt me as much.) I am a hard core testament that breaking the habit can be done! At one point, I was even drinking 5-6 a day. In addition to the health effects, think of all that money I was wasting! Thanks for reading. I wish everyone who reads this the best in their quest for better health.

TANJIM ARAFAT SAJIB from Bangladesh on March 08, 2016:

First of all, I’ll thank the author from the core of my heart from bringing up such a known and important issue. Most of us are aware that there are bad things involved with soft drinks but still we hardly can give up the habit of taking these drinks. This hub can help us becoming more cautious and make us think about why we should leave the soft drinks a t any cost!! The hub is very informative including different useful charts. We should not only read these charts but also thin k what we are taking in the form of tasty soft drinks!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on March 02, 2016:

MarlobyDesign - Thank you for reading and voting. Sodas sure can cause a lot of health problems that are best avoided by drinking water! Have a great week!

MarloByDesign from United States on March 02, 2016:

What a thoroughly written Hub...I also enjoyed voting in your polls. Plain and simple ~ I would rather eat good food than drink those pointless calories!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on January 26, 2016:

Rajan - Your behavior is a model for all. Thank you for reading and sharing your own habits.

Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on January 26, 2016:

I was never a big soda drinker but since the past many many years have stopped drinking them totally. Have even cut down on almost all processed foods and definitely feel good for my age.

Thanks for sharing this information and the figures. The diet soda video reveals they are the worst culprits of all.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on December 06, 2015:

Jackie - You are a healthy girl!

Jackie Lynnley from the beautiful south on December 06, 2015:

I mean ones I make myself; like smoothies really, sometimes with veggies thrown in.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on November 02, 2015:

Jackie - Soda, fruit drinks -- they both cause sugar spikes. I'm glad you're on top of it though. Glad you enjoyed the hub. Have a great week.

Jackie Lynnley from the beautiful south on November 01, 2015:

I have been checking my sugar for about a month now and I have noticed when I have cola it is always highest! Thankfully though it is not hard for me to mostly stay away from. I love fruit drinks. Pizza calls for a cola though and thankfully I don't have those too often!

Great important info!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on October 31, 2015:

RJ - Oh, they do say a picture is worth a thousand words! It's enough to make you sweat off soda forever. Thanks for reading.

Reynold Jay from Saginaw, Michigan on October 31, 2015:

Oh, my that photo of the fat person!!! I gave up sugar drinks at an early age and now a diet 12 oz. about once a week or less. Great informational HUB!!!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on October 19, 2015:

Patricia - Thanks so much. I hope it's effective. My daughter has grown up without my soda fixation. I'm more than a month in without soda and still going strong. Have a great week and thanks for reading!

Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on October 19, 2015:

Flourish Your article is spot on....I HOPE that many parents read this and heed the warnings. Children are the innocents...we, as adults, know better . It is our job to instruct our little ones on proper nutrition including what they drink.

I have given up soda and even sweet tea pretty much altogether in the last few months. My drinks of choice are coffee and water...

Wishing you much success as you move to a healthier life style.

Angels are once again on the way to you ps

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on October 12, 2015:

PegCole17 - That's a good way to look at it -- drinking your dessert. Thanks for stopping by, Peg. Have a great week ahead!

Peg Cole from Northeast of Dallas, Texas on October 11, 2015:

You've taken an important topic and provided a lot of valuable information on the hazards of continued soda consumption. There was quite a bit that I didn't know including the pH levels in soft drinks. I knew about the sugar and that is what keeps me from drinking a lot of it. It really boggles my mind to see people ordering a forty-six ounce sized drink of non-diet soda. That is part of the problem as I see it: over consumption. The case could be made for dessert as well if it were eaten five times a day.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on October 10, 2015:

poetryman6969 - Yep, we certainly have the right (and many of us invest in harmful products in our 401(k) portfolios whether we realize it or not), but it's good you're not dependent on soda yourself. Thanks for reading.

poetryman6969 on October 10, 2015:

While I think we have the right to harm ourselves with bad eating and drinking habits and I certainly don't want the government to dictate what we do in our private lives, still I can find no benefit in soda or pop unless you need to clean the corrosion off your lead acid battery.

Certainly parents, teachers and administrators should band together and conspire to remove all soft drinks from schools.

I gave up soda and I can't say I miss it.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on October 10, 2015:

Sheila - You add such an interesting perspective! Thank you for that! Have a great weekend.

Sheila Brown from Southern Oklahoma on October 10, 2015:

Your hub is very informative and interesting! I have limited myself to one can of Mt. Dew a day for many years now. Owning a vending machine business over the last 7 years, I can say that the amount of soda being sold is dropping. We have included bottled water in all the machines we can, it doesn't sell as well as the soda, but the sales are increasing. Maybe people are waking up to the fact that soda is in no way good for us.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on October 05, 2015:

Susan - I'm glad you were inspired! Soft drinks are need better alternatives, and I was sad to learn fruit juice wasn't it! I hope your infused water hub encourages folks with a healthier alternative.

Susan Hambidge from Kent, England on October 05, 2015:

This is a great article! I read this and was inspired to write a hub about infused water. You might find you like that as an alternative to soda - it might help. Thank you for writing this.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on October 04, 2015:

Jodah - I miss the heck out of some of them, sugary as they are. I'm glad you don't have the habit. Stay strong! It's a terrible habit and so hard to break, but I'm several weeks in.

John Hansen from Queensland Australia on October 04, 2015:

Fantastic hub, packed with useful information, Flourish. The only time I drink soda is in the form of an energy (caffeinated) drink in the car if I have to go on a long trip to help me keep alert (and one large can lasts me for an entire three hour trip). That would probably work out at one can per month.Apart from that I stopped drinking soda (we call it soft drink) 20 year ago. Even diet soda is no good for you, and I know people who drink up to six cans of that a day. Now if I do get offered a can of soda I can not even finish a can because it just tastes too sugary to me. Thi hub shoud be helpfu advice to a lot of people.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on October 02, 2015:

Nadine - It is very sweet but I sure do miss it. Thanks for reading. Have a great weekend!

Nadine May from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa on October 02, 2015:

Wow I would say after reading your hub who is still drinking or eating all that rubbish? I NEVER drink soft drinks. Years ago someone offered me a glass of Coca Cola at a booth during a festival for free, and I was very thirsty. Boy I got so sick, that was my one and only time!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on September 28, 2015:

Vellur - Thanks for stopping by. Have a wonderful week.

Nithya Venkat from Dubai on September 27, 2015:

Informative and a useful hub. Freshly squeezed juice is the best in the long run.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on September 27, 2015:

justthemessenger - I bet that firsthand experience saved you not only health effects but also lots of money staying away from soda. Thanks for sharing that nugget.

James C Moore from The Great Midwest on September 27, 2015:

Good information. I first learned of soda's (or pop's) sugar saturation at my Big 10 college home back in the '80s. This was a lesson learned on campus but outside the classroom while I restocked beverages at the dorm cafeteria. I saw firsthand how sickeningly sweet the various pop syrups were when the carbonation tank ran low. Once the carbonation was out the drink was too sweet for anyone to stand it. Thankfully, that led me to limit pop intake beginning in my early 20s.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on September 27, 2015:

CrisSp - Water's the way to go! Thanks for sharing and taking the time to comment. Have a great week.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on September 27, 2015:

Anita - And once you're hooked they're so difficult to give up, but it's not impossible! Thanks for reading! Enjoy your weekend.

CrisSp from Sky Is The Limit Adventure on September 27, 2015:

This is a very extensive hub particularly on sugar consumption and its risk. Thank goodness, I'm not into sodas. I'd seldom have it and if the craving for some fizzy drink is there, I'd opt for club soda (0 calories and 2% sodium). I don't buy it for the house. I encourage drinking water. I just don't see any benefits from buying and drinking soda.

Sharing this, so people would know more and hopefully get discouraged from drinking sodas.

Dream Lover from Zagreb on September 27, 2015:

Hi FlourishAnyway ;) Your hub is great:)* Many things are not good for us but we still use it no matter what doctors or scientists say. Firstly they gave to us these drinks and when we became addicted to them, than they said: these things are not good for you. They are unhealthy and there is a big problem if you continue to drink these drinks. Funny isn't it? But it is ugly truth.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on September 25, 2015:

Audrey - Thank you! It's been 2 weeks for me without soda! Have a great weekend!

Audrey Howitt from California on September 24, 2015:

Passing this great and important hub around!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on September 19, 2015:

Teaches12345 - I've been a week without it now and although I miss the taste I know I better not go back. Glad you got something out of this.

Dianna Mendez on September 19, 2015:

You certainly have convinced me of the dangers. I rarely drink soda but I must say I enjoy it when I do. Good thing it is not a habit.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on September 17, 2015:

Nell - Glad you gave up soda. One thing at a time. Thanks for reading! Have a great weekend!

Nell Rose from England on September 17, 2015:

I totally believe it! I recently got so fed up to the back teeth with a spare tyre that I totally cut out sugar. I never drink soft drinks, but I pile on the sugar in tea, three of four teaspoons each cup, five cups a day! add that up! so, now I have half teaspoon sugar or less, and two or three sweeteners if any, and I have lost a Stone! (14 pounds!) great advice, and love the layout!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on September 14, 2015:

Audrey - Thank you for commenting and sharing! Have a great week!

Audrey Howitt from California on September 14, 2015:

What a great article! And so important~! Sharing this everywhere!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on September 14, 2015:

Linda - Thank you for reading. It's been a few days without soda and I'm still going strong.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on September 14, 2015:

Larry - Addictions certainly are individual. My grandmother smoked more than a pack a day from the time she was in her teens until she was in her 40s and then gave it up cold turkey one day on a dare. Go figure. Most people are not able to do that, quitting again and again. But you have to keep trying. What creeped me out with soda is that it can modify your DNA. Thanks for sharing your own experience!

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on September 14, 2015:

Thanks for sharing all the useful information, Flourish. Your hub is a great warning about the dangers of sodas.

Larry Rankin from Oklahoma on September 14, 2015:

Very interesting hub. I certainly agree that soda is a genuine danger to our health, but tobacco, in my opinion, it is not.

Though sugar and caffeine both have addictive qualities, and over consumption of soda can be a contributing factor in cancer, the nature of the addiction and direct correlation to cancer are not the same.

I'll put it this way, it took me almost 2 decades to successfully quit tobacco. When I want to drink less soda, I just drink less soda. Cravings might be a bit of a nuisance, but really it's usually just as easy as cutting back. No night sweats, nausea, constipation, etc.

Of course this is my experience. Different addictions really vary as to how they effect individuals.

As always, wonderful and thought provoking hub.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on September 14, 2015:

Roberta - I'm all with you regarding the addiction. You can mentally know all the dangers but until you decide enough is enough it just won't help. And there's always the sweet lure ready to welcome you back. I drank it for breakfast!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on September 14, 2015:

Oh, Shyron, the withdrawal has been tough. Not having either the sugar or caffeine is a huge change. I'm trying to sleep it off. Have a wonderful week!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on September 14, 2015:

Bill - That's a great habit to emulate. Thanks for reading and commenting! Have a great week!

Shyron E Shenko from Texas on September 14, 2015:

Flo, this is some great information, I do know that cancer cells feed on sugar and try not to do sugar at all. My addition is caffeine also, in my coffee. If I don't drink it I get caffeine withdrawal headaches.

The problem is that Aspartame is worse than sugar, so diet sodas are also out.

Blessings dear friend

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on September 13, 2015:

MsDora- This was such an eye opener for me. I hope others find it helpful. Thanks hor reading!

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on September 13, 2015:

Interesting is the amount of caffeine in those zero-calorie diet drinks! Thank you for all those detailed facts which soda drinkers do not usually care about. I agree with you: "It's time to get real, to face cold sugary facts." Hoping that knowing will affect doing, going forward.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on September 13, 2015:

Bill - Good for you for the healthy habit! Have a great week ahead!

Bill De Giulio from Massachusetts on September 13, 2015:

Hi Flourish. As a general rule I do not drink soda. Very, very occasionally I will have one if nothing else happens to be available but I definitely try to avoid soda. This is a real problem, especially with kids who become addicted to the stuff. It amazing how much sugar is in a can of soda.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on September 12, 2015:

Heidi - Thanks so much for your comment. Glad to see there are others out there who have successfully given it up for good. Have a great weekend.

RTalloni on September 12, 2015:

My first wake up call was a display in our pediatrician's office about 30 years ago showing the actual amount of sugar in sodas and other drinks. I didn't give them up completely because I was addicted to them, but there are several reasons I wish I had done it then. Now, I don't remember the last time I had one, but every coke ad makes my mouth water. In check out lines I say to myself (sometimes out loud), "I will not buy a coke, I will not buy a coke…" I think the combined ingredients are addictive because I could easily get all the sugar I want. Any old ways, it's good to see this topic continuing to be highlighted with warnings. It's amazing how many people don't realize the dangers of these drinks. The rest of us need reminders…once an addict, always an addict.

Heidi Thorne from Chicago Area on September 12, 2015:

Do not get me started on this topic! Ai yi yi! I quit drinking any soda maybe 10 to 15 years ago and haven't missed it. (Okay, I substituted unsweetened green tea for it.) Hubby used to down the stuff daily and he dumped it about 8 years ago... and some of his health issues disappeared. Occasionally I get a taste for it with pizza, but that passes quickly. When I've tried to drink the sugar sauce because that's all that was being served at an event, I absolutely cannot do it anymore.

Thanks so much for spreading the news about this sneaky health concern! Happy Weekend!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on September 12, 2015:

Sha - I don't like exercise either, even though I have a husband who does triathalons and a whole family (including a teen daughter) who is into cross country running. Yuck. Not me. I take after my mother. Thanks for reading and have a great weekend not exercising.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on September 12, 2015:

Faith Reaper - I love the stuff and it's going to be so hard to give up but it's for the best. Luckily, I never started a coffee habit. Hope your son considers all the warnings. Often you see them scattered but when you see them all together, it's alarming. Thanks so much for sharing and have a wonderful weekend!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on September 12, 2015:

brakel2 - That's why I switched to regular sodas years ago but now if you look around Aspartame is in yogurt, pudding and all kinds of stuff. It's so discouraging. Thank you for sharing! Have a great weekend.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on September 12, 2015:

ArtDiva - Your moderate approach is what we should be following if we drink sodas at all. Unfortunately, a lot of us (like me) have trouble with that! Way to go!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on September 12, 2015:

Ann - Thanks for reading! Lucky you with that sweet tooth that doesn't want to kick in.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on September 12, 2015:

sujaya - One can only present the information, ya know?

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on September 12, 2015:

I never have been a soda drinker. When I was a kid I'd drink the occasional soda. My favorites were Dr. Pepper, Ginger Ale, and 7-Up or Sprite.

I can't remember the last time I drank a soda. I drink juice, but buy the no sugar added kind. And I read labels. If ANYTHING I'm considering buying contains high fructose corn syrup or sugar substitutes, I don't buy it.

So, why have I gained a stomach in the past few years? Beats me!

Years ago I had a friend who drank Mountain Dew morning, noon, and night. He started having stomach pains and went to his doctor. The doc told him soda was literally eating away at his stomach and ordered my friend to quit the habit. Funny thing is, he wasn't overweight - just the opposite. Anyway, when he quit drinking soda, his problems went away.

BTW, I dared to use the BMI calculator link. It came through as 27.2, so I'm overweight but not obese. I need to find a way of getting rid of this belly. Don't tell me to exercise. You can't teach this old dog new tricks she has no desire to learn. Besides all that, I never stick to an exercise program because I never had to partake in actual exercises to remain trim; my lifestyle kept me fit. I know me. I won't do it.

Faith Reaper from southern USA on September 12, 2015:

Woo, you know it, Flourish ...evil toxic drink for sure! I don't buy soft drinks at all for my home consumption, but every now and then I will still have a Dr. Pepper or Diet Dr. Pepper with a fast food meal ...so bad, but the meal comes with one so ... haha. Anyway, I read somewhere that one coke or soft drink has about 16 teaspoons of sugar! Fat is no longer really the evil culprit but sugar. It is so toxic.

I do have to have my coffee loaded (caffeine) not decaf, but usually just have two cups in the morning. At the most three cups. I love 100% Colombian with a tad of fat free milk.

I am sending the link to my son. Important hub here full of warnings we all should heed.

Sharing everywhere

Audrey Selig from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma on September 12, 2015:

Hi Flourish - You are right about sugary drinks, in addition to all the other bad things about soda pop. My issue has always been with Aspartame, but that is another story. They have taken drinks out of some of the schools in this area, and people are giving up these drinks in this era. Maybe we are on the way to better days. Sharing your excellent piece. Blessings, Audrey

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on September 12, 2015:

Jeannie - the Fact that it can modify DNA was it for me. I'm aging fast enough without the help! Good luck in continuing to stay off it. Thanks for reading.

ArtDiva on September 12, 2015:

I started substituting "liquid sugar" with sparkling mineral water several years ago. However, I will admit, every now and then when out, I go for the Barq's Root Beer. Looking at the chart, no wonder it tastes soooo good. At my age, I'll go out happy for the occasional indulgence. A lot of good information presented.

Jeannie Marie from Baltimore, MD on September 12, 2015:

I was a Diet Coke addict for years, but I have been getting nervous about all the bad things I've read about aspartame. I gave it up a few months ago and it has been tough. I did allow myself two Cherry Cokes this week (with real sugar!) and it is just sooooo good. I've found the more hours a work, the harder it is to just drink water, juice, milk, and tea. I love soda!

Ann Carr from SW England on September 12, 2015:

Not really - I just don't have a very sweet tooth! And I don't like the bubbles down my nose!

Super healthy I'm definitely not, sadly, but am trying to get more exercise, walking in and around the campsite at the moment. Too much food during celebrations lately - need to shed the pounds!

All the best to you!

Ann

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on September 12, 2015:

Ann - You are a very disciplined lady with your habits! I bet you're super healthy. Thanks for reading!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on September 12, 2015:

Lipnancy - Thank you for reading. Have a great weekend.

sujaya venkatesh on September 12, 2015:

however who listens Flo

Ann Carr from SW England on September 12, 2015:

I drink the odd glass of lemonade (from a bottle, never a can) and might have some squash (unsweetened) now and then but generally it's water or coffee for me. I hate Coke and have seen the devastation that too much sugar can have on children's teeth and adults' obesity or diabetes.

This is a well-informed, squarely presented warning which all should read.

Shared.

Ann

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on September 11, 2015:

Frank - I like your thinking!

Frank Atanacio from Shelton on September 11, 2015:

sin taxes LOL... soda should be served warm.. I bet that'll get the taste out of the kid's mouth.. I started drinking soda that way and grew a distaste for it finally.. iced cold just masks the truth taste..

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on September 11, 2015:

Frank - It's appalling how we are so actively participating in our own demise, me included. If the market demand wasn't there the product would go away. Sin taxes are an effective method of reducing consumption if they can get them passed.

Frank Atanacio from Shelton on September 11, 2015:

What a great Hub Flourish... supply and demand.. we demand it they supply it.. it's us.. we love to over do it... I remember way back when when a child's happy meal was an adult meal.. it was a burger fries and a child's drink was a regular.. we just wanted more so they gave us more... that's just how I feel.. :) Frank

Nancy Yager from Hamburg, New York on September 11, 2015:

I hope this hub reaches many people, because sugar is such a huge problem.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on September 11, 2015:

Bill - I hope to be there some day. It all start with today.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on September 11, 2015:

TeaPartyCrasher - Love your name. Thanks for stopping by and taking time to leave a comment. Have a great weekend.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on September 11, 2015:

Good information. I gave up soft drinks five years ago. I honestly don't miss them at all. :)

TeaPartyCrasher from Camp Hill, PA on September 11, 2015:

Great piece. You make a good case for putting that Coke, Pepsi, etc down.

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