I’m sure that parents of my generation can relate to my own experience as a child. When I was a little lad, drinking soda (fizzy drinks for our UK friends) was just about as normal as drinking water or milk. Coke, Pepsi, Fanta, DR. Pepper, my friends and I all regularly guzzled down on these during lunch times and school or hanging out after class. But recent scientific research is showing that soda and other sugary drinks are very damaging to our children’s health, and not just their teeth. It begs us to ask the question, should we eve let our kids drink soda at all?
We want to share with you some articles and thoughts on drinking soda so that you can make your own choice.
What is in soda and why are fizzy drinks bad for you?
In order to make that can of delicious soda, there’s a whole cocktail of ingredients that go in. This is going to be different for each individual drink, but usually around 80-90% is carbonated water. The sweetness comes from a high dose of sugar or fructose corn syrup; for example, did you know that an average can of cola has around 10 tablespoons of sugar inside (or 39 grams of HFCS). Would you let your child eat 10 tablespoons of sugar? They also add in phosphoric acid, great for decaying your teach, artificial coloring, and caffeine.
We never know when to stop
A huge problem with drinking soda is that the child doesn’t ever feel like it would if they are eating something. Soda is packed full or harmful sugars and acids, but we can literally keep drinking far, far too much. We seem to have it in our minds that too much food is what causes stomach and health problems, but studies have shown that drinking soda can cause health problems in kids, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and high triglyceride levels, which are risk factors for diabetes, heart disease, and stroke, that are usually only seen in adults.
Effects of drinking soda
Teeth – Due to the huge amounts of sugar and acids in soda, researchers have shown how this dangerous 1-2 punch can wreck a child’s teeth. Soda contributes to a whole host of teeth and gum problems, including cavities and erosion.
Behavior – It’s not just there physical health which is at risk. A new study has even suggested that soda drinking might be linked to bad behaviour in children. It argued that children who drink a lot of soda were more prone to ADHD and showed more aggressive behavior than those who didn’t . This is strongly linking to the amount of caffeine in soft drinks.
Health – There is strong evidence that shows that those kids who regularly drink soda have much higher risks of heart disease, diabetes, high blood-pressure, bone disorders, obesity and more
What should parents do?
Well, as a first step, we recommend you get online and do your own research to see what you can find. Also, consult with your family doctor and dentists for more expert information. Some parents are going for all out bands on soda and fizzy drinks in their houses, while others are limiting the amount that their kids drink and teaching them moderation.
However, we need to view fizzy drinks as part of a whole paradigm that is influencing the health of our children. It’s a whole part of a bigger picture that includes of much exercise they take, their diet as a whole, their mental health, their experiences at school, the environment they live in, hereditary health factors and more.
In any case, whatever you decide, remember that the very best thing a child can drink comes straight from the kitchen tap; water.