Posted by: Tanya Bindl, D. C. | March 18, 2013

The Soda Battle: To Ban Soda Or Not to Ban Soda

 

 

We all know that soda isn’t the best thing to drink.  But, after many recent studies, it’s safe to say that it is one of the worst health choices we can make.  Diet soda is not excluded, and it may even be worse.  Aspartame has not been well tested and is recognized only as “generally safe” by the FDA although it does appear to have a substantial link to cancer when analyzing data from multiple studies.  Regular soda is full of sugar and is cited with being one of the major contributors to the obesity problem that is grabbing a hold of this country.

You may or may not be aware of the recently proposed soda ban that Mayor Bloomberg is trying to put in to action in New York City.  The concept is rather simple: banning soda, or at the very least, limiting the large sizes, in effort to protect the health of the people.  However, it is controversial, the main reason being personal liberty.  Shouldn’t people have the right to choose whether or not to drink soda?  If they want to do something unhealthy, isn’t it ultimately their decision if they do so, as long as they aren’t hurting anyone else?  There’s also the role of education, and how we can spread the word about just how terrible all soda truly is for you.

These questions are ones that need to be asked, but also ones that are a bit tricky to answer.   However, our area of expertise is not government policies, so we’d like to focus on why you should really try to limit your diet soda/regular soda intake.

1. Everything in moderation.   If you need a daily injection of diet coke, you may want to reconsider your choices.  And of course, this isn’t just limited to diet coke, but is applied to all types of soft drinks.  It does not provide any nutritional nourishment and may in fact harm you.  Drinking something every day, or feeling the need to do so, is not the best sign.  If you really enjoy soda, try to limit it to special occasions only.  It should not be something you are consuming every day.

2.  Studies have shown that soda, even diet soda, contributes to weight gain.

3. Dentists everywhere advise against drinking soda – heavy soda drinking is incredibly hard on your teeth.

4. Aspartame has been continuously linked to cancer.

5. There is also concern about the effect aspartame may have on the liver.  According to livestrong.com, there was a study published in “Food and Chemical Toxicology” in 2011.  It found that long-term aspartame consumption “may cause change the antioxidant status of the liver”.  Rats were given doses of aspartame-laced water. The researchers found that over a period of time, these rats had lower levels of glutathione, a chemical that helps the body use antioxidants to fight free radicals. However, according to the same source, “connections between these findings and liver damage or other specific consequences have not yet been established”.

Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/article/484327-does-aspartame-cause-liver-damage/#ixzz2NqlaIJvU

We are not sure how we feel about any ban anywhere, but we do want people to live healthier lives, and soda has no real nutritional value that can contribute to a healthy lifestyle.   We stress again that it should be in moderation, something indulged in as little as possible.  We hope you learned something new from this blog post today, as we tried to do our part to spread the word.

Thank you for reading.  Have a great rest of your Sunday!

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