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Soft Drinks Effects

People around the world in more than a hundred and fifty nations drink sodas and soft drinks every day, totaling to a whopping 34 billion gallons a year. Essentially, a soft drink consists of carbonated water, sugar, and flavoring agents. Average consumption of soft drinks in the United States is 49 gallons per capita annually. Calorie-laden soft drinks are considered the primary cause of the growing epidemic of obesity in the US. The effects of soft drink consumption on a regular basis include tooth decay and dental erosion, osteoporosis or weakened bones, dehydration, and liver damage in the long run.
Though soft drinks are marketed as tasty thirst quenchers, the salt in these drinks actually causes dehydration, and their sugar content can lead to false hunger pangs.
Carbonated soft drinks contain acid that irritates the stomach, and the stomach neutralizes the acid with calcium drawn from the blood. The blood in turn replaces its stock from the calcium stored in bones. When people choose to sip a soft drink instead of water or milk, both sources of calcium for the body, they are depriving the body of the chance to replenish its stores of calcium.   
There are different types of soft drinks available in the market, from colas to fruit-based drinks, diet soft drinks with sugar substitutes, flavored sparkling water and caffeinated or caffeine-free soft drinks. With the increased awareness about the consumption of soft drinks and health consequences, there has been a marginal decline in the sale of soft drinks. This has prompted manufacturers to launch healthy soft drinks fortified with vitamins and minerals to lure consumers back. Experts point out that the vitamins in these “healthy soft drinks” may not be the ones that children need to grow stronger. It is vital that consumers be aware of the link between soft drinks and obesity and other health issues, despite the claims of marketing gimmicks of soft drink makers. 

A strong correlation has been established between the increase in consumption of carbonated drinks and the incidence of esophageal cancer. The burping that follows when you finish a can of cola causes an acid reflux to damage the lining of the esophagus, causing lesions with time. These lesions could eventually become cancerous. Not only does regular soft drink consumption lead to obesity, it can lead to other obesity-related problems like diabetes, joint pains and back pain. Food colors, additives and flavoring agents added to soft drinks have been known to cause serious side effects.

Submitted on May 27, 2011