Quantcast
Latest Stories

Heart to Heart Talk

Should soft drinks be banned?

By

IN OUR column on October 12, 2009, we wrote that soft drinks, which I called “liquid candy,” cola or uncola, diet or regular, “are unhealthy, especially for children. Not only because the regular ones are loaded with sugar (high carbo, super calories), but because of the other adverse effects all these soft drinks (without exception!) have on people’s health.”

Ravi Dhingra, MD, clinical instructor in medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, reported that “both diet and regular soft drinks have brutally high acid levels.”

“Drinking more than one soda a day–regular or diet–appears to increase the risk factors for heart disease,” the Framingham Heart Study researchers emphasized.

The following findings of the Harvard research, which we are quoting in full, are a most convincing confirmation and re-affirmation of the other clinical studies in the past:

Risk rises with soda consumption

Harvard Medical School researcher Ravi Dhingra, MD, and study colleagues looked at nearly 6,000 middle-aged men and women who had exams every four years. At the outset, all were free of heart disease and metabolic syndrome. Four years later, in comparison to people who drank less than one soft drink a day, researchers found that those who consumed one or more sodas a day experienced:

A 25 percent increased risk of impaired (or higher than normal) fasting glucose and high triglyceride levels.

A 31 percent greater likelihood of becoming obese.

A 32 percent higher chance of lower HDL levels.

A 44 percent increased risk of metabolic syndrome.

These results were published in the July 31, 2007, issue of Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Study results were a surprise

Dr. Dhingra and his colleagues were surprised that regular and diet soft drinks posed similar risks for metabolic syndrome–which remained the case even when the study was adjusted for dietary factors such as saturated and trans fats, calorie and fiber consumption and levels of physical activity. There are several theories as to why this might be–perhaps the extreme sweetness of soft drinks makes people more apt to eat sweet foods, or the caramel content may promote insulin resistance and inflammation. But these are theories, and no one knows for sure. To others though it is now obvious that high acidic levels will help cause these symptoms.

Adverse health effects

Drinking soft drinks of any kind has been linked to the development of obesity, type 2 diabetes mellitus, osteoporosis, lowered calcium and potassium level, heart disease, high blood pressure, metabolic syndrome, dental cavities and nutritional depletion. There is also a claim that it may have an adverse effect on conception. These liquid candies also contain caffeine which could disrupt sleep and lead to anxiety and DNA damage and hyperactivity, especially among children.

The prevalence of obesity among Americans doubled between 1977 to 2001 and this trend was paralleled by a doubling of the consumption of soft drinks. An increase in the body mass index (BMI) of 0.24 kg/meter square was found among children for each (ONE!) soft drink they consumed. Studies on adults (50,000 female nurses on one study) revealed that drinkers of even one can of soft drink led to weight gain, and increased blood sugar among diabetics.

One study reported this interesting finding: “One four-week experiment compared a 450 calorie/day supplement of sugar-sweetened soft drinks to a 450 calorie/day supplement of jelly beans. The jelly bean supplement did not lead to weight gain, but the soft drink supplement did. The likely reason for the difference in weight gain is that people who consumed the jelly beans lowered their caloric intake at subsequent meals while people who consumed soft drinks did not. Thus, the low levels of satiety provided by sugar-sweetened soft drinks may explain their association with obesity. That is, people may who consume calories in sugar-sweetened beverages may fail to adequately reduce their intake of calories from other sources. Indeed, people consume more total calories in meals and on days when they are given sugar-sweetened beverages than when they are given artificially-sweetened beverage or water.”

One alarming report: “In 2003, the Delhi non-profit Centre for Science and Environment published a disputed report finding pesticide levels in Coke and Pepsi soft drinks sold in India at levels 30 times that considered safe by the European Economic Commission.”

Another study showed that those subjects who consumed soft drinks had lower bone mineral density, placing them at increased risk of suffering, not only osteoporosis but bone fractures. More scary is the increased risk for the development of metabolic syndrome (a group of conditions that include type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, obesity, high blood fat, low level of good cholesterol).

It is our government’s role and responsibility to protect our children by not allowing our schools, public or private, to have vending machines that sell soft drinks and other unhealthy products, much like outlawing the vending machines that used to sell cigarettes.

While I believe liberty and freedom of choice in a democracy are our birth right and government intrusion in our personal behavior/habits is abuse of power, I cannot argue the fact that since the seat belt law was enacted (depriving individuals the right to drive without a seat belt), the degree of injuries and incidence of deaths from car accidents have plummeted around the world. The government’s ban on cigarette advertising and laws prohibiting smoking in public areas (restaurants, movies, trains, buses, etc) have likewise greatly benefited the public medically. The ban against using the cell phones while driving is another obviously good law. And there are dozen others.

So, the current admirable attempt by some well-informed legislators to protect our people, especially the children from the very harmful effects of soft drinks by introducing a bill to ban soft drinks is clearly for the people’s well-being, since We, the People, don’t appear to give a damn. Of course, the debate will go on. I only hope science and not politics shall prevail and the victim will not be our people’s health.

The Departments of Health and Education and other agencies concerned must also ensure the public that all schools require a course in nutrition for all students and offer only healthy menus in their cafeteria. After all, a healthy citizenry translates into a healthy nation.

For more on this subject, please visit

philipSchua.com

Email: scalpelpen@gmail.com


Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


More from this Column:

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Health , softdrinks




Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
  1. Gigi Reyes back to face charges
  2. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  3. In the know: Gigi Reyes
  4. SC suspends proctor in 2011 bar exams
  5. Senator Pimentel backs German think tank’s stand vs dynasties
  6. Bar proctor suspended for photographing test papers
  7. Collector Danny Garcia says Inquirer worth more than news
  8. Meteor shower to light up PH skies
  9. What Went Before: Enrile denies Gigi Reyes was ‘other woman’
  10. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  1. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  2. Suspect in Vhong Navarro mauling tries to leave PH
  3. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  4. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  5. ‘Mom, I love you,’ says text from student on sinking ferry
  6. Fr. Suarez says last Mass on Easter before returning donated land to San Miguel
  7. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  8. Massive infra spending set
  9. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  10. I’ll follow my conscience on Estrada, says JV Ejercito
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  4. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  5. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  6. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  7. Police rule out foul play in Helena Belmonte’s death as boyfriend is ‘traumatized’
  8. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  9. Model Helena Belmonte wished ‘to slash her wrist and hope to die’
  10. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia
Advertisement

News

  • 2 teenagers killed in Mlang, North Cotabato
  • No sympathy from North Korea over ferry disaster
  • 4 French journalists freed from Syria captors home
  • De Lima on Gigi Reyes: Let’s wait and see
  • South Korean relatives divided over whether to raise ferry
  • Sports

  • Pacquiao courtesy call to Aquino set for Monday
  • Nick Calathes suspension a reminder of supplement risk
  • Teague scores 28 as Hawks soar past Pacers in Game 1
  • Warriors beat Clippers in playoff opener
  • Pacquiao top Mayweather contender
  • Lifestyle

  • Britain’s baby Prince George visits Australian zoo
  • Noli Yamsuan, Cardinal Sin’s ‘official’ photographer: ‘I could smell the aftershave lotion of the Pope’
  • Simplifying and lightening life
  • Where to go for Easter night-out
  • Joe de Venecia visits the Queen Mother of Cambodia
  • Entertainment

  • Show-biz celebrities’ other choices of summer getaway
  • Why ‘Noah’ can’t dock his ark at Philippine theaters
  • Acclaimed artist goes wild while on holiday
  • Believing in this mermaid
  • Missing Xian
  • Business

  • Top-selling insurance agent opens her dream café
  • Connecting and transacting with one another
  • Building wealth for health
  • Why Mandaue Foam buys, rather than rents, space
  • A workplace of new possibilities
  • Technology

  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Opinion

  • Epiphany
  • Unpaid creditor vs distressed debtor
  • Moving on
  • From culinary desert to paradise
  • Response to China: ‘Usjaphil’
  • Global Nation

  • Asia seeks Obama’s assurance in territorial spats
  • Cesar Chavez movie sparks memories of Fil-Am labor leaders
  • Filipinos in US poised for success
  • Visas for priests and other faith leaders
  • DOH to continue tracking co-passengers of OFW infected with MERS virus
  • Marketplace
    Advertisement