THE BLOG

10 Diseases Linked to Soda Pop

10/08/2010 11:49 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011
  • Dr. M.J. Wegmann Dr. Wegmann is the developer of Social Responsibilty, a movement to improve the world we find ourselves in.

The number of Americans who consume products that contain sugar-free sweeteners grew from 70 million in 1987 to 160 million in 2000. At the same time, the incidence of obesity in the United States has doubled from 15 percent to 30 percent across all age groups, ethnic groups, and social strata. And the number of overweight Americans has increased from about 30 percent to over 65 percent of the population.

And though soda is rather addictive treat and for many of us it would be hard to give up soda habit once and for all, at least we should try to place it to the category of things we enjoy on occasion.

As for me, the following information will surely keep me away from drinking too much soda.

This list of 10 Disease comes from Squido.com

1) Extra pounds.

Soda is a significant contributor to overweight and obesity. Many people either forget or don't realize how many extra calories they consume in what they drink. Drinking a single 330 ml can a day of sugary drinks translates to more than 1lb of weight gain every month. The relationship between soft drink consumption and body weight is so strong that researchers(1) calculate that for each additional soda consumed, the risk of obesity increases 1.6 times.
Here is what research shows: It may sound counter intuitive, but people who drink diet soft drinks don't lose weight. In fact, they gain weight.

An exciting new study in the Journal of Behavioral Neuroscience has shown conclusively that using artificial sweeteners not only does not prevent weight gain, but induces a whole set of physiologic and hormonal responses that actually make you gain weight.

2) Liver damage

Soda damages your liver. There is evidence that consumption of too many soft drinks puts you under increased risk for liver cirrhosis similar to what chronic alcoholics have.

3) Tooth decay

Soda eats up and dissolves the tooth enamel. Researches say that soft drinks are responsible for doubling or tripling the incidence of tooth decay. Soda's acidity is even worse for teeth than the solid sugar found in candy.

4) Kidney stones and chronic kidney disease

Colas of all kinds are well known for their high phosphoric acid content, a substance known to change the urine in a way that promotes kidney stone formation. Research shows that drinking one quart (less than three 12-ounce cans) of soda per week may increase a person's risk of developing kidney stones by 15%.

5) Diabetes

Anything that promotes weight gain increases the risk of diabetes. Drinking soda not only contributes to making people fat, but it also stresses the body's ability to process sugar. Some scientists now suspect that the sweet stuff may help explain why the number of Americans with type 2 diabetes has tripled from 6.6 million in 1980 to 20.8 million today.

6) Heartburn & acid reflux

Heavy consumption of soda is a strong predictor of heartburn. First, a lot of carbonated beverages are very acidic. The other thing is that they deliver a lot of air - in the form of carbon dioxide - which can cause distension of the stomach. And that distension appears to be associated with more reflux.

7) Soft drinks = Soft Bones = Osteoporosis

Soft drinks containing phosphoric acid are definitely linked to osteoporosis (a weakening of the skeletal structure) because they lead to lower calcium levels and higher phosphate levels in the blood. When phosphate levels are high and calcium levels are low, calcium is pulled out of the bones. The phosphate content of soft drinks, such as Coca-Cola and Pepsi, is very high, and they contain virtually no calcium. Researchers found, that high soda consumption (particularly cola(7)) in children poses a significant risk factor for impaired calcification of growing bones.

8) Hypertension (high blood pressure)

Experts have reasons to believe that over consumption of soda leads to an increase in blood pressure. It actually doesn't matter if the soda is regular or diet.

9) Heart disease

Heavy soda drinkers are more likely to develop risk factors for heart disease. Research shows that drinking more than one soft drink a day is associated with an increased risk of developing the metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is a group of symptoms such as central obesity, elevated blood pressure, elevated fasting blood sugar, elevated fasting triglycerides, low levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL or "good" cholesterol). Having three or more of the symptoms increases a person's risk of developing diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

10) Impaired digestion (gastrointestinal distress)

The common problem is general gastrointestinal distress. This includes increased stomach acid levels requiring acid inhibitors and moderate to severe gastric inflammation with possible stomach lining erosion. Drinking sodas, especially on an empty stomach, can upset the fragile acid-alkaline balance of the stomach and other gastric lining, creating a continuous acid environment.

It's no secret, healthy people do not drink ANY kind of soda, regular or diet. The single greatest step you could take today would be to remove soda from your diet. Begin to replace all of your liquids with good quality water. According to USDA estimates, the per capita consumption of HFCS was about 40 pounds per year as of 2007, primarily in the form of soft drinks. Tragically, high fructose corn syrup in the form of soda, is now the number one source of calories in the United States. HFCS has also been proven to have high levels of mercury which will destroy your nerve system. Food and beverage manufacturers began switching their sweeteners from sucrose (table sugar) to corn syrup in the 1970s when they discovered that HFCS was not only cheaper to make, it was also much sweeter (processed fructose is nearly 20 times sweeter than table sugar), a switch that has drastically altered the American diet. Because soda clearly elevates insulin levels, and elevated insulin levels are the foundation of nearly every chronic disease, including:

1. Cancer
2. Heart disease
3. Diabetes
4. Premature aging
5. Arthritis
6.Osteoporosis

If you are facing one or more of these major health challenges I urge you to make a commitment to getting well. Health is a birth right, but not a guarantee. You have to become educated and than make good decision with that information. Knowing and not doing is not knowing. Start living the life you deserve. Exercise, eat well, and laugh.