Soft Drinks Are the New Tobacco: Health Risks of Soda

Updated on December 12, 2017
FlourishAnyway profile image

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? | Source

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:

Be honest. We won't tell. On AVERAGE, how many 12 oz. soft drinks do you consume?

See results
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. | Source

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. | Source

Recent Attempts to Regulate the Soda Industry

Attempted Mode of Regulation
Example(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. | Source

Reader Poll

Who is responsible for the health effects of sugary beverages (like the one you just drank)?

See results

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. | Source

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

Soda
Caffeine 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
*Contains aspartame which some studies have linked with health concerns such as leukemia, lymphoma, multiple myeloma, and other health concerns. **Aspartame-free, but the new sweetener, acesulfame K, has been linked to stomach pain for some people.

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. | Source

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. | Source

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. | Source

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. | Source

Drinking just one 12-ounce can of soda every day for a year is equal to 55,000 calories, or 15 pounds a year.

- UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital

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 Soda
Diet 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%
Source: WebMD

Here's How Diet Sodas Help To Make You Fatter

What Are You Drinking? pH Levels of Common Beverages

Beverage
pH
Beverage
pH
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
For general comparison, battery acid has a pH of about 1.0, stomach acid 1.3, toilet bowl cleaner 1.0-3.0, vinegar 3.0, lemon juice 3.0, and acid rain 5.6.

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. | Source

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

Waterpik Complete Care Water Flosser and Sonic Toothbrush, WP-900
Waterpik Complete Care Water Flosser and Sonic Toothbrush, WP-900

If you're going to drink soda, at least keep a clean mouth! I swear by this fabulous machine. Take better care of your mouth by power washing plaque away. Reaches between teeth and below the gums. I add two teaspoons of baking soda and a capful of mouthwash to the basin to help keep my teeth pearly white.

 

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." | Source

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

How Big Soda Responds To Nutrition Concerns

(1) the science linking soft drink consumption to negative health outcomes is flawed or insufficient, (2) soft drinks provide hydration, (3) soft drink sales in schools help education by providing needed funding, (4) physical activity is more important than food intake (5) it is unfair to target soft drinks because obesity has many causes and there are no “good” or “bad” foods.

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. | Source

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.

Questions & Answers

    © 2015 FlourishAnyway

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      • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        14 months ago from USA

        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.

      • justthemessenger profile image

        James C Moore 

        14 months ago from The Great Midwest

        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 profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        2 years ago from USA

        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 profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        2 years ago from USA

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

      • vocalcoach profile image

        Audrey Hunt 

        2 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

        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 W profile image

        Peggy Woods 

        2 years ago from Houston, Texas

        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 profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        2 years ago from USA

        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.

      • breathing profile image

        Sajib 

        2 years ago from Bangladesh

        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 profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        2 years ago from USA

        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 profile image

        MarloByDesign 

        2 years ago from United States

        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 profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        2 years ago from USA

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

      • rajan jolly profile image

        Rajan Singh Jolly 

        2 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

        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 profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        2 years ago from USA

        Jackie - You are a healthy girl!

      • Jackie Lynnley profile image

        Jackie Lynnley 

        2 years ago from The Beautiful South

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

      • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        2 years ago from USA

        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 profile image

        Jackie Lynnley 

        2 years ago from The Beautiful South

        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 profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        2 years ago from USA

        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 profile image

        Reynold Jay 

        2 years ago from Saginaw, Michigan

        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 profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        2 years ago from USA

        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!

      • pstraubie48 profile image

        Patricia Scott 

        2 years ago from sunny Florida

        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 profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        3 years ago from USA

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

      • PegCole17 profile image

        Peg Cole 

        3 years ago from Dallas, Texas

        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 profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        3 years ago from USA

        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 profile image

        poetryman6969 

        3 years ago

        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 profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        3 years ago from USA

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

      • sgbrown profile image

        Sheila Brown 

        3 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

        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 profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        3 years ago from USA

        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 profile image

        Susan Hambidge 

        3 years ago from Hertfordshire, England

        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 profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        3 years ago from USA

        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.

      • Jodah profile image

        John Hansen 

        3 years ago from Queensland Australia

        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 profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        3 years ago from USA

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

      • Nadine May profile image

        Nadine May 

        3 years ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

        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 profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        3 years ago from USA

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

      • Vellur profile image

        Nithya Venkat 

        3 years ago from Dubai

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

      • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        3 years ago from USA

        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.

      • justthemessenger profile image

        James C Moore 

        3 years ago from The Great Midwest

        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 profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        3 years ago from USA

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

      • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        3 years ago from USA

        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 profile image

        CrisSp 

        3 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

        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.

      • Anita lesic profile image

        Dream Lover 

        3 years ago from Zagreb

        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 profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        3 years ago from USA

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

      • AudreyHowitt profile image

        Audrey Howitt 

        3 years ago from California

        Passing this great and important hub around!

      • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        3 years ago from USA

        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.

      • teaches12345 profile image

        Dianna Mendez 

        3 years ago

        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 profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        3 years ago from USA

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

      • Nell Rose profile image

        Nell Rose 

        3 years ago from England

        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 profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        3 years ago from USA

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

      • AudreyHowitt profile image

        Audrey Howitt 

        3 years ago from California

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

      • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        3 years ago from USA

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

      • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        3 years ago from USA

        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!

      • AliciaC profile image

        Linda Crampton 

        3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

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

      • Larry Rankin profile image

        Larry Rankin 

        3 years ago from Oklahoma

        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 profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        3 years ago from USA

        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 profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        3 years ago from USA

        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 profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        3 years ago from USA

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

      • Shyron E Shenko profile image

        Shyron E Shenko 

        3 years ago from Texas

        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 profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        3 years ago from USA

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

      • MsDora profile image

        Dora Weithers 

        3 years ago from The Caribbean

        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 profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        3 years ago from USA

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

      • bdegiulio profile image

        Bill De Giulio 

        3 years ago from Massachusetts

        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 profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        3 years ago from USA

        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 profile image

        RTalloni 

        3 years ago from the short journey

        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.

      • heidithorne profile image

        Heidi Thorne 

        3 years ago from Chicago Area

        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 profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        3 years ago from USA

        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 profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        3 years ago from USA

        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 profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        3 years ago from USA

        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 profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        3 years ago from USA

        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 profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        3 years ago from USA

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

      • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        3 years ago from USA

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

      • bravewarrior profile image

        Shauna L Bowling 

        3 years ago from Central Florida

        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 profile image

        Faith Reaper 

        3 years ago from southern USA

        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

      • brakel2 profile image

        Audrey Selig 

        3 years ago from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

        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 profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        3 years ago from USA

        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.

      • profile image

        ArtDiva 

        3 years ago

        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.

      • Jeannieinabottle profile image

        Jeannie InABottle 

        3 years ago from Baltimore, MD

        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!

      • annart profile image

        Ann Carr 

        3 years ago from SW England

        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 profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        3 years ago from USA

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

      • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        3 years ago from USA

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

      • sujaya venkatesh profile image

        sujaya venkatesh 

        3 years ago

        however who listens Flo

      • annart profile image

        Ann Carr 

        3 years ago from SW England

        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 profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        3 years ago from USA

        Frank - I like your thinking!

      • Frank Atanacio profile image

        Frank Atanacio 

        3 years ago from Shelton

        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 profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        3 years ago from USA

        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 profile image

        Frank Atanacio 

        3 years ago from Shelton

        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

      • Lipnancy profile image

        Nancy Yager 

        3 years ago from Hamburg, New York

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

      • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        3 years ago from USA

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

      • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        3 years ago from USA

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

      • billybuc profile image

        Bill Holland 

        3 years ago from Olympia, WA

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

      • TeaPartyCrasher profile image

        TeaPartyCrasher 

        3 years ago from Camp Hill, PA

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

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