With the holiday season behind us, I thought this would be a great post to lead into the New Year, especially since all of us most likely consumed more sugar then usual over the holidays.
Now, I didn't have a pop/soda over the holidays and I haven't had a soda in over 10 years. However it wasn't always like this. Prior to 10 years ago I would normally drink 3 to 4 cans of Coke every day. Yes, every day!!!!
I don't even want to think about the amount of sugar I was putting into my body!
Luckily I woke up and realized that this was very unhealthy and I decided to quit cold turkey 10 years ago. Since then we don't have pop in our house, which means our kids do not have access to it on a daily basis. Therefore, they may drink two or three sodas in a year, which I can live with.
I don't think this is the norm and the research and marketing by the soda industry proves it.
Nothing irks me more than someone—particularly a business or corporation—taking advantage of children. And this is exactly what the soda industry has been doing for years.
These companies spend billions of dollars on their marketing campaigns, working diligently to get their product in front of and in the hands of our children. The flashy ad campaigns make sugary drinks seem fun, cool even. “Drink our soda and you’ll have friends,” “Drink our soda and you’ll be the coolest kid in school,” “Drink our soda and you’ll be happy!”
In all seriousness, folks—it makes me sick.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I understand the whole marketing thing—you’ve got to get your product out there and you’ve got to make it stand out and seem more appealing than your competitors’ products.
What I have a problem with is that even with all of the evidence out there about popular drinks, sugar, and chemicals these companies are allowed to target children and teens. In my opinion, it is pretty much just as bad as cigarette companies targeting children.
We need to do something about this, and some people have stepped up and declared a war on soda. Today I’m going to share with you some scientific evidence that I’m sure will make you declare your own war on soda. I will also share what some people are doing to fight the good fight against sugary drinks.
I Declare Soda Evil: The Scientific Evidence That Makes Me Feel This Way
Soda…I don’t even know where to begin, but let’s start with the sugar aspect of it. Refined sugar in excessive amounts, which is what you will find in soda and other sugary drinks, is basically a legal drug. It works on the body and the brain the same way drugs like heroine does, and has the same addictive effects. Dr. Mercola wrote about it and said that sugar is one of the “most damaging substances to ingest.” (He wrote another great post called Why Coke Is a Joke—a must-read!). Sugar:
- Damages the liver
- Contributes to weight gain and diabetes
- Causes metabolic dysfunction.
If that weren’t bad enough, soda has a ton of chemicals, especially if it’s diet soda. These are some of the chemicals in soda and what they do to the body.
- 4-methylimidazole, or 4-MeI: This is what gives soda its caramel color, and guess what? According to the World Health Organization it is a potential carcinogen.
- The Washington Post recently reported that new studies show that the chemicals and sugar in soda can increase a person’s risk of heart disease. The sad thing about this is that younger and younger people are developing heart disease. Teenagers are being diagnosed with heart disease now, and a big contributing factor is soda.
- Bisphenol-A (BPA): Endocrine and reproductive disruptor.
- Sodium Cyclamate: Potential carcinogen, particularly the potential for bladder cancer.
- Caffeine: Can cause sleep disorders, anxiety, stomach issues, and hyperactivity in children.
Celebrity Crusaders & the War on Soda: Giving Our Families a Fighting Chance
I recently came across an article about the CrossFit people taking their war on soda to Washington lobbyists. To say the least, I was extremely intrigued, particularly when I read about how soda companies are allowed to be involved in funding health studies. Isn’t that a bit of a conflict of interests?
A few years ago, the mayor of Philadelphia proposed a new tax on soda. Unfortunately, the soda companies used their big bucks to fight back and won that battle. And, they won the battle in San Francisco as well.
However, according to the New York Times, the efforts put forth by politicians and parents in these cities have actually caused the soda industry to decline in recent years. How so? These campaigns have reminded consumers of just how damaging soda really is to the human body. Once reminded of this, more consumers started to look for healthier soda options and to, overall, start focusing on healthy eating and drinking in their households.
Another celebrity who is fighting against sugary foods and beverages is Jamie Oliver. This guy is one of my personal heroes. It is because of Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution that I started down this path of healthier living and eating. He now has a new documentary out called Sugar Rush. In it, he explains the importance of reducing sugary drinks and finding soda options.
I admire people who are putting their time in the spotlight to good use. I give kudos to Jamie Oliver and CrossFit CEO Greg Glassman, and to anyone else who is taking a stand against the big soda industry.
Winning the War on Soda: Advocating for Healthier Options to Sugary Drinks
The future is in our hands: what we teach our children about healthy eating and drinking is going to affect their lives and that of their children. In a previous post, I wrote about some of the horrible snacks that are provided for our kids at sporting events. In that post, I offer some healthier options, including a fantastic smoothie recipe that kids will love (and adults do, too!). Give it a try and you’ll soon see that with this and other healthy soda options your kids won’t even miss soda.
We need to continue educating ourselves and our children, and voicing our concerns to the schools and our representatives, too. In doing so, we have a fighting chance to save our children from the ill-effects of sugary drinks and can win the war on soda.
Have you declared a war on soda in your household? What more do you think we can do to get our kids, their friends, and the schools to choose healthier options to sugary drinks? I would love to get your feedback on this increasingly important topic. Leave a comment below or on my Facebook page.